Epidemic and pandemic-prone diseases | Outbreaks | Cholera | Outbreak update – cholera in Somalia, 17 May 2018

Outbreak update – cholera in Somalia, 17 May 2018

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17 May 2018 – The Ministry of Health of Somalia has announced 292 new cases of cholera including four associated deaths for week 18 (30 April to 6 May) of 2018. The cumulative total number of cases is 2 968 including 17 associated deaths (case-fatality rate 0.6%) since the beginning of the current outbreak in December 2017. Of 153 stool samples so far collected since the begging of this year, 49 tested positive for Vibrio cholera. There has been an increasing number of newly reported cholera cases compared to the previous week where 212 cases including one death. 

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 18, new cases were reported in 13 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. 

Following heavy rains in Ethiopia and Somalia, flash floods have been reported in four states; Middle Shabelle, Hiran, Lower Shabelle, and Lower Jubba. This has affected 718 000 people and forced 220 000 people displaced. The cholera outbreak is expected to increase due to the floods that have led to contamination of water sources in flood affected regions. Floods have also led to blockage of access to health services which will contribute to delayed health-seeking by the affected population over the past two weeks. 

WHO provides leadership and support for activities with the Ministry of Health to respond this outbreak as well as coordinating with WASH and Health Cluster partners, and local health authorities on the planning and implementation of response activities. 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. On the job training was conducted for the health workers working in cholera treatment centres in Kismayo and Banadir CTCs.

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