Epidemic and pandemic-prone diseases | Outbreaks | Cholera | Weekly update: cholera in Somalia, 23 April 2017

Weekly update: cholera in Somalia, 23 April 2017

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23 April 2017 – The Ministry of Health of Somalia has reported 2745 cases of cholera and 28 deaths which were reported from 50 districts in 12 regions during week 15 (10–16 April). Out of 20 stool samples collected last week from suspected AWD/cholera cases in Dolow and Abudwak in Bay region, 12 tested positive for vibrio cholerae 01, ogawa serotype.

Since the start of the outbreak at the beginning of 2017, a cumulative total of 28,408 cholera cases and 558 deaths (CFR–2%) have been reported, with more cases expected as the rainy season (Gu) begins.

The health cluster led by WHO is working collaboratively with the Ministry of Health, partners and health authorities to respond to the outbreak and implement preventative measures around the country.

Integrated emergency response teams were trained in Mogadishu, and Bay and Gedo regions, to support integrated response activities in hard-to-reach areas. The Ministry of Health trained 60 health workers in cholera case management, surveillance, WASH and risk communications. The participants were selected from CTCs in Middle and Lower Shebelle regions.

The second round of Somalia's first oral cholera vaccination campaign began on 18 April in 7 high-risk areas in Banadir, Beledweyne and Kismayo. The campaign is set to run for 7 days and will target over 450,000 vulnerable persons over 1 year of age who have already received the first dose of the cholera vaccine.

After consecutive seasons of poor rainfall and lack of water, Somalia is experiencing a severe drought that has killed livestock and crops, and left around 6.2 out of 12.3 million people in in need of humanitarian assistance. 

Nearly 3 million people face food insecurity and nearly 5.5 million people are at risk of contracting water-borne diseases. Hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people are also on the move in search of food, water, shelter and medical care.