Epidemic and pandemic-prone diseases | Outbreaks | Cholera | Outbreak update – Cholera in Somalia, 16 August 2018

Outbreak update – Cholera in Somalia, 16 August 2018

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16 August 2018 – The Ministry of Health of Somalia has announced 53 new cases of cholera, including zero associated deaths for week 32 (6 to 12 August) of 2018. There has been a decline trend for the past four weeks and cases are localized in Lower Jubba and Banadir regions. The cumulative total of cases is 6130, including 41 associated deaths (case-fatality rate 0.6%) since the beginning of the current outbreak in December 2017. Of 248 stool samples so far collected since the begining of this year, 79 tested positive for Vibrio cholerae, serotype O1 Ogawa.

This week, active transmission of AWD/cholera was reported in nine districts in Banadir and Kismayo district in Lower Jubba. Lower Jubba has been affected by the flood and cyclones occurred last April, and the region represents 37.7% of the newly reported cases (20). Flood-affected areas still experience road blockages leading to delayed health care services. Lower Jubba hosts a large IDP communities in Frjano and limited access to safe water and sanitation could lead to increases in the number of cholera cases.

As Health Cluster lead, WHO is coordinating planning and implementation of response activities with Somalia's Ministry of Health, 70 Health Cluster partners, and local health authorities. During the month of July, WHO distributed over 150 metric tons of lifesaving drugs and essential medical supplies to all flood-affected areas, and supports capacity building through different trainings: 60 logisticians received training on management of emergency medical supplies, 120 health workers on infection prevention, 90 health staff on health facilities in surveillance and outbreak investigation.  

The disease surveillance system is managed by the Early Warning Alert and Response Network (EWARN) with the support of WHO, and has expanded to 341 sentinel sites across the country. 180 heath facility staff members were trained on EWARN to improve early detection of and response to infectious diseases. Additionally, WHO continues to support enhancing laboratory capacity. Stool samples were collected from six cholera treatment centers in four regions (Banadir, Hiraan, Lower Jubba and Middle Shabelle). 32 laboratory staff were trained on sample collection and packaging and shipment of samples.