Epidemic and pandemic-prone diseases | Outbreaks | Cholera | Outbreak update – Cholera in Somalia, 9 August 2018

Outbreak update – Cholera in Somalia, 9 August 2018

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9 August 2018 – The Ministry of Health of Somalia has announced 50 new cases of cholera for week 30 (23 to 29 July) of 2018. There has been a decreasing trend of newly reported cases for four consecutive weeks. The cumulative total of cases is 6018, including 41 associated deaths (case-fatality rate 0.7%) since the beginning of the current outbreak in December 2017.

Cholera cases have been on the decline for the past four weeks and the newly reported cases are localized in Lower Jubba and Banadir region. This week, the active transmission was reported in two regions: 9 districts in Banadir and Kismayo in Lower Jubba region.

Kismayo district represents 54% of the newly reported cases (27), where especially internal displaced persons (IDPs) in Farjano are reported to be using contaminated water due to floods.  Banadir reported 46% of the new cases (23), where the highest concentration of IDPs reside in the camps. Banadir hospital has admitted the highest number of cholera cases in Somalia with a total of 2351 admissions since the beginning of the outbreak. 

Despite the decline in newly reported cases, the outbreak is expected to spread due to the floods last April and May that led to contamination of water sources in the affected regions such as Hiran, Lower Shabelle and Lower Jubba. Floods have also led to blockage of access of health services which have contributed to delayed health seeking behavior by the affected populations.

WHO provides leadership and support for response activities in close cooperation with the Ministry of Health (MoH). Coordination meetings were held in the flood affected districts with MoHs at Federal and State levels to effectively collaborate with health cluster partners.  WHO has also continued to support clinical care delivery, including supervision and monitoring of case management in cholera treatment centers. On the job trainings were conducted in Kismayo, Farjano , Banadir and Marka. Surveillance and investigation of rumors have been ongoing and six rapid response teams has been deployed in the flood affected areas this week. WHO’s work with WASH cluster partners included distribution of hygiene kits and chlorination of water sources in Farjano, Allenley and Fanole, distribution of 1500 hygiene kits in the newly accessible village of Bula-gaduud, and hygiene promotion for cholera prevention and control is on-going in Farjano, Allanley, Gulwada and Shaqalaha.

WHO has supported Somalia’s laboratory capacity with collection of stool samples from six cholera treatment centers in four regions (Banadir, Hiraan, Lower Jubba and Middle Shabelle). Of 248 stool samples so far collected since the beginning of this year, 79 tested positive for Vibrio cholerae, serotype O1 Ogawa.