Epidemic and pandemic-prone diseases | Outbreaks | Cholera | Outbreak update – cholera in Somalia, 22 March 2018

Outbreak update – cholera in Somalia, 22 March 2018

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22 March 2018 – The Ministry of Health of Somalia has announced 164 new cases of cholera, including 1 death recorded during week 10 (5 to 11 March) of 2018. Children under 5 represent 54 % of the reported cases.  The cumulative total number of cases is 1486 including 9 associated deaths (case fatality rate 0.6%) since the beginning of the current outbreak in December 2017.

New cases have been on the rise in Somalia, especially in Banadir, Hiran, Lower Jubba, and Middle Shabelle which has been a cholera hotspot for the past decade due to limited access to safe water and sanitation. Nearly 50% of cases reported in Middle Shabelle were for children below the age of 5.

Out of 10 stool samples tested, 6 were positive for the presence of vibrio cholerae bacteria.

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 support for clinical care delivery; support for case management in cholera treatment centres; 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 supported the first round of an oral cholera vaccination campaign conducted in Hudur in Bakol region, and Afmadow in Lower Jubba region from 11 to 18 February. A total of 176037 people aged one year and above received the first of 2 doses of oral cholera vaccine. The second round of the campaign is expected to run at the end of March. The vaccination campaign targets populations that previously have not been received cholera immunization.

While cholera in endemic in Somalia, a major cholera outbreak occurred in 2017 with 79 172 reported cases and 1159 associated deaths. Oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaigns were conducted in hotspots around the country in response to the outbreak, and successfully limited the number of new cases. 

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