Tanzania: Cholera Outbreak Emergency Appeal n° MDRTZ018

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This Emergency Appeal seeks 941,146 Swiss francs to support the Tanzania Red Cross Society (TRCS) to take action to address the growing cholera outbreak and to assist 226,000 people at risk. It will enable the National Society to carry out community engagement and social mobilization for affected communities, and to set up oral rehydration points, surveillance systems, and household level water treatment mechanisms. This appeal reflects the current situation and will be updated and adjusted based on the evolving nature of the crisis on the ground and the findings of more detailed assessments carried out by the Field Assessment and Coordination Team (FACT), currently supporting TRCS to develop their plan.

The disaster and the Red Cross Red Crescent response to date

15 August, 2015: first cholera outbreak case reported in Dar es Salaam’s Kinondoni district; one person died and four family members were screened and found affected. Cholera began spreading throughout the Dar es Salaam region and twelve other regions of the country: Morogoro, Kigoma, Dodoma, Geita, Mwanza, Mara, Arusha, Tabora, Tanga, Shinyanga, Singida and Coast, and the island of Zanzibar. The contributing factors, includes contaminated water sources, poor sanitation and poor hygiene practices.

Significantly, in May 2015 a cholera outbreak was declared in Nyarugusu refugee camp on the Tanzanian/Burundi border, home to around 175,000 Burundian refugees with 4,833 cases and 40 deaths reported. The outbreak was contained through a vaccination campaign, provision of safe water and health education. Neighbouring countries have also reported cholera cases in October.

As of 3 November 2015: a total of 7,155 cumulative cases reported and 96 deaths. Although the figures of the current outbreak are lower than those of previous years, the rapid increase of cases (from 5,973 on 31 October, to 7,155 on 3 November), with almost 20% of overall cases occurring in just 4 days, indicates that a sharp and rapid increase in cases is highly likely. Given the current context and applying attack rates to the population at risk, similar to previous outbreaks, without significant and rapid intervention there is a very real risk that the current outbreak will increase to reach 1997 levels, with upwards of 40,000 cases within the next few months.

11 November 2015: Emergency Appeal launched for 941,146 Swiss francs for 226,000 people, with 188,505 Swiss francs allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) as start-up support.