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WHO continues to Support Response to Cholera Outbreak in Refugee Settlement

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WHO official demonstrates proper hand-washing at Kasango Cholera treatment center in Kyangwali refugee camp © WHO

Hoima, 22 March 2018:- On 19th March 2018, twenty (20) new patients were admitted to the Cholera Treatment Centers (CTCs), most of whom (77%) were new arrivals from the Democratic Republic of Congo. As of that date, the cumulative number of cases reported was 1,747 with 36 deaths (CFR 2.06%). No deaths were recorded in all CTCs or in the isolation units. The cases are from Kyangwali, Kabwoya and Buseruka sub-counties. There are no cases in Hoima municipality.

The Ministry of Health and the district authorities are in the firm leadership of the response activities through the District Task Force that comprises United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) and other partners. This leadership has eliminated duplication of efforts, wastage of resources and led to effectiveness in all pillars of the response.

WHO has assisted the District Health Team to streamline identification, reporting and recording of cases leading to regular and standardized Situation Reports. Case management is progressing well in the CTCs and active case search, collection and transportation of samples to the Central Public Health Laboratory (CPHL) for culture and susceptibility testing have been supported. The result has been quick diagnosis, confirmation and treatment of all suspected cases.

WHO, UNICEF and URCS are actively supporting social mobilization activities with Village Health Teams and other community mobilizers working on community and individual engagements to prevent and control the outbreak. Social mobilization has been reinforced with mass media activities such as radio spots, announcement and discussion programmes in various languages. Other health promotion settings such as churches, schools, markets and trading centres have also been brought on board.

Stocks of logistics and supplies are regularly replenished to avoid stock-outs such that at present all the CTCs are able to manage cases that are reported or identified. WHO has supplied Aqua tabs, erythromycin tablets, 200 Cholera Rapid Diagnostic Test and four (4) cholera kits.