Somalia: 39 New Cholera Cases Reported As Government Battles to Contain Outbreak

The Ministry of Health of Somalia has announced 39 new suspected cases of cholera, with no deaths, for epidemiological week 31 (29th-4th August) in 2019. The cumulative total number of suspected cholera cases since the beginning of this outbreak in December 2017 is 8493, including 46 associated deaths. During this reporting period, all of the cases were reported from a total of 17 districts in Banadir region. Of the 39 cases reported during week 31, 59% of the cases are children below 5 years of age.

The cholera outbreak has been contained in the districts of Jubaland, Hirshabelle and South West States following implementation of oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaigns and other health interventions in these areas. Active transmission is still reported in Banadir region. Over the past two weeks there has been a reduction in the number of cholera cases reported from 48 cases in week 30 to 39 cases in week 31 in the Banadir region.

The most affected districts in Banadir are Dharkenley, Daynile, Hamarjajab, Hawlwadag and Hodan. The overall reduction in number of new cholera cases is attributed to improved implementation of preventive interventions including OCV and strengthening WaSH activities in hot spots.

Of the 765 stool samples tested since December 2017, a total of 152 samples were tested positive for Vibrio cholera serotype.

During week 24 and 26 WHO and MOH implemented Oral cholera vaccination campaign in 6 cholera high risk districts of Kahda, Hamajajab and Heliwa in Banadir region, Kismayo, Balad and Afgoi. A total of 621,875 (96.7%) of people aged 1 year and above received the first dose of cholera vaccine.

WHO continues to provide leadership and support the health authorities and partners in activities to mitigate the outbreak. The disease surveillance system is managed by the Electronic Early Warning Alert and Response Network (EWARN) system with the support of WHO and is currently being expanded to all health facilities across the country. WHO and the Ministry of Health continue to monitor outbreak trends through the EWARN system and promptly investigate and respond to all alerts.

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