Outbreak update – Cholera in Somalia, 08 January 2019

The Ministry of Health of Somalia has announced 30 new suspected cases of cholera, with no deaths, for epidemiological week 52 (24 to 30 December) of 2018, while 26 cases with no deaths were reported in week 51. Of these new cases, 57% (17) were females while 63% (19) were children below five years of age. In week 52, active transmission of suspected cholera was reported in eight districts in the Banadir region: Darkenley, Daynile, Hamarjabja, Hodan, Madina, Abdilaziz, Hamar Weine, and Heliwaa

Since epidemiological week 28, when 396 suspected cholera cases were reported, there has been a significant downward trend in the number of new suspected cholera cases reported by treatment facilities. The cumulative total of cases is 6761, including 46 associated deaths (case-fatality rate 0.68%), since the beginning of the current outbreak in December 2017 along the Shabelle River. Of 351 stool samples that have been tested since the beginning of this year in the National Public Heatlh Laboratory in Mogadishu, 104 tested positive for Vibrio cholerae, serotype O1 Ogawa. In Week 52, a total of 5 stool samples were analysed and all were found to be positive for V.Cholerae.

The outbreak has spread in the south and central regions, and the effected districts include Jowhar, Kismayo, Bulobarde, Afgoye, Merka and Banadir. However, the cholera outbreak has been contained in Middle Shabelle, Kismayo and Hiraan, and it has been observed only in the Banadir region since epidemiological week 39 in 2018. This is attributable to the implementation of oral cholera vaccination (OCV) in these areas and other health interventions. An OCV campaign has been planned for February 2019, targeting 660 000 people living in internal displaced persons (IDP) camps in six high-risk districts in Lower Jubba, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle, and Banadir regions.

Source: World Health Organization