Outbreak update – Cholera in Somalia, 12 May 2019

The Ministry of Health of Somalia has announced 48 new suspected cases of cholera, with no deaths, for epidemiological week 19 (6 to 12 May) in 2019. No suspected cholera cases were reported between epidemiological weeks 1 and 7 due to closure of main cholera treatment center, from which the data is collected. The cumulative total number of suspected cholera cases since the beginning of this outbreak in December 2017 is 7235, including 46 associated death cases (CFR 0.6%). During this reporting period, all cases were reported from Banadir region. Of the 48 cases reported during week 19, 81% of the cases (39) are children below 5 years of age.

The cholera outbreak has been contained in districts of Jubaland, Hirshabelle and South West States following implementation of Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) in these areas as well as other control interventions. However, active transmission is still reported from Banadir region. The protracted cholera outbreak in Banadir is attributed to the limited access to safe water and sanitation in areas where IDPs are living. All 48 new cholera cases reported did not receive Oral Cholera Vaccine before. Since the beginning of 2019, 149 stool samples have been collected and tested in the National Public Heatlh Laboratory in Mogadishu. During this reporting period, all 23 samples tested were negative for Vibrio Cholerae.

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 (eEWARN) 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 eEWARN system and promptly investigate and respond to all alerts.

Source: World Health Organization