EPI watch: Epidemiological Bulletin for Epidemic-prone diseases in Somalia for weeks 44-45, 31/10/2022-13/11/2022

Somalia is experiencing worsening drought following four consecutive seasons of failed rainy season. According to the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit (FSNAU) and Famine Early Warning Network (FEWS NEST), Somalia received suboptimal amount of dyer rains than expected since October 2021. Currently, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) estimates that the number of people affected by extreme drought has risen from 4.9 million in March to 7.8 million in September, with 1 million displaced from their homes in search of water, food, and pasture.

Some 6.8 million people - 45 per cent of the population - are acutely food insecure. For the first time since 2017, the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification has confirmed pockets of catastrophic food insecurity (Phase 5) affecting more than 300,000 people.2 An estimated 1.8 million children under age 5 face acute malnutrition, including 515 550 who are severely malnourished.3 The current situation including the displacement have led to more people being vulnerable to epidemic prone diseases, particularly acute diarrheal disease, and measles.

The Federal Ministry of Health and WHO monitor the trends of epidemic-prone diseases in drought affected districts using data from the electronic-based EWARN, fever and rash surveillance system and community health workers deployed in drought affected districts. With support from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and in collaboration with state ministries of health, WHO is implementing activities aimed at preventing disease outbreaks, including the timely detection and response to alerts of epidemic-prone diseases reported among vulnerable communities in drought affected districts. To control cholera outbreak, one million people have received at least one dose of oral cholera vaccine in nine drought affected districts, cases are receiving treatment in nine cholera treatment facilities and 15 oral rehydration points supported by WHO. WHO and partners have scaled up the implementation of drought response activities in 29 drought affected districts in collaboration with UN agencies targeting hard to reach communities.

Source: World Health Organization

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