Uganda: Cholera Outbreak DREF operation n° MDRUG032

CHF 184,804 is being requested from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) in delivering assistance to some 900,500 beneficiaries. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.


On the 18th April 2013, the Ministry of Health (MoH) reported an outbreak of cholera in the districts of Hoima, Nebbi and Buliisa. The reports from the ministry of health epidemiology and surveillance department indicate that since the beginning of 2013 the cumulative number of cases reported from the cholera affected districts has reached 216 cases and 7 deaths. The overall case fatality rate nationally from these districts stands at 3.2%.

An assessment conducted by the District Health Offices and URCS branches on the current outbreak in Nebbi, Buliisa and Hoima estimate that 217,350 persons (38,128 households) in the affected sub-counties are at high risk of cholera infection during this outbreak, with a wider population of 900,500 people in the districts also seen as at risk due to the high mobility of people in the area. Many of the affected communities are fishing communities where lack of clean water coupled with poor sanitation and hygiene practices have contributed to the outbreak and spread of the disease.

In close cooperation with the government and other involved agencies, URCS has so far supported active case finding and health education and hygiene promotion activities in the affected areas. Additionally, it has distributed jerry cans and water treatment products as well as constructing hand washing facilities and emergency latrines.

With this DREF operation, the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS), intends to improve awareness about cholera and its control measures in the affected and high risk communities, while providing safe water, improving sanitary and hygiene conditions, and facilitating community based disease surveillance. URCS intends to raise awareness through media campaigns, community health education campaigns and displaying movies for the communities. Volunteers from the local branches will be mobilized and trained to use the Epidemic Control for Volunteers (ECV) toolkit, designed to orient volunteers on general epidemic control methodologies and provide specific cholera control information and activities. Volunteers will also make use of Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation in Emergency Responses (PHASTER) tools designed to engage households in effective disease control methodologies through improved community hygiene and sanitation.

This operation is expected to be implemented over three months, and will therefore be completed by Mid August 2013. A final report will be made available three months after the end of the operation 15 November 2013.