Epidemic and pandemic-prone diseases | Outbreaks | Cholera | Outbreak update – cholera in Somalia, 10 May 2018

Outbreak update – cholera in Somalia, 10 May 2018

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10 March 2018 – The Ministry of Health of Somalia has announced 212 new cases of cholera including two associated deaths for week 17 (23 to 29 April) of 2018. The cumulative total number of cases is 2 672 including 13 associated deaths (case-fatality rate 0.5%) since the beginning of the current outbreak in December 2017. The trend shows a slight increase compared to the previous week where 193 cases including one death were reported. Children under two years old represent 46% of the reported cases.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, 18 districts in 5 regions (Hiraan, Banadir, Lower Jubba, Lower Shabelle, and Middle Shabelle) have been affected. In week 17, new cases were reported in 10 districts in Banadir region, Kismayo in Lower Jubba, and Afgoya in Lower Shabbelle region, while Middle Shabelle and Hiraan did not report zero cases during this reporting period. 

Lower Jubaa is one of the cholera hotspots in Somalia located at the border with Kenya in the South. The district where cholera cases were reported is characterized by returnees from Kenya as well as internally displaced persons from Middle Jubba. Over the past week, the reported cases have been decreasing. However, 120 cases including one death still were reported this week.  

Cholera is endemic in Somalia, however, in 2017 a major cholera outbreak affected many communities, and recorded 79 172 reported cases, including 1159 associated deaths. Oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaigns were conducted in cholera hotspot areas in response to the outbreak, and successfully limited the number of new cases.

WHO is coordinating the planning and implementation of response activities with the Ministry of Health, WASH and Health Cluster partners, and local health authorities. This includes support for: clinical care delivery; support for case management in cholera treatment centers; surveillance; deployment of rapid response teams; engagement of community health workers; provision of medical supplies; health and hygiene education in affected communities; and distribution of hygiene kits. 

WHO continues to support enhancing the laboratory capacity. Stool samples are collected from six cholera treatment centers in four regions ( Banadir, Hiraan, Lower Jubba and Middle Shabelle). Of 132 stool samples so far collected since the begging of this year, 40 tested positive for Vibrio cholera. This week, out of 8 stool samples collected, one has tested positive for the presence of Vibrio cholera bacterium.