Kenya: World Health Organization Statement on the Chikungunya Outbreak in Mombasa

World Health Organization, WHO, is helping the government to contain an outbreak of Chikungunya in Mombasa following reports from clinicians of increased unknown febrile illness that presented with very high fever, joint pains and general body weakness. The tests were found malaria negative and sometimes dengue fever negative.

The outbreak has affected all the six-sub counties namely, Mvita, Kisauni, Nyali, Changamwe, Jomvu and Likoni. Most cases are found on the island, Mvita.

By January 4, 2018, the Ministry of Health had reported 69 cases of which 32 samples have been tested at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Labs in Nairobi. Twenty-seven (27) of the cases were found positive while five were negative.

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease characterized by an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. The joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged to weeks. The virus can cause acute, subacute or chronic disease.

The Ministry of Health is monitoring the situation and Kenya Medical Research Institute, KEMRI, has sent a rapid response team to support Mombasa County after initial lab examination found positive cases. Of the eight samples, 50% (4) were confirmed positive for chikungunya and 50% (4) for dengue. In addition, two (2) samples had both chikungunya and Dengue (Co infection). WHO is providing technical support and is monitoring the situation. An emergency officer is on the ground to do a rapid assessment and to support the teams, Country Representative Dr Rudi Eggers has said.

Reports of Chikungunya were first reported in mid-December and were rapidly followed up by collection of blood samples by the Disease Surveillance Unit. These were submitted to two private hospitals and to KEMRI labs in Nairobi for examination and confirmation. KEMRI then sent a rapid response team.

A batch of another 32 samples was collected and shipped to KEMRI labs by the team on January 4, 2018. The results indicate that majority, 27, of the cases were found positive of the disease while five were negative.

In response to the outbreak the Mombasa County has initiated various emergency and response activities which will continue for two weeks. These are:

  • Chikungunya control activities with regular review meetings initiated by the Mombasa County Outbreak Management Team;
  • Chikungunya outbreak alert and fact sheet issued to all sub counties and health facilities including private hospitals
  • Fliers have been developed and are distributed to households through the community health volunteers (This is integrated with cholera and control dengue activities)
  • Vector Control activities have been strengthened
  • An emergency kitty has been established and budget approved by the County to accelerate activities
  • Vector control chemical, Mos n Roch, 200Ltrs has been procured to facilitate fogging.
  • Four fogging machines have been procured by the County and launched on January 8, 2018, by His Excellency the Governor, Ali Hassan Joho.

The intensified response and rapid assessment will help contain the outbreak and the public have been urged to visit health facilities for proper assessment and management.

“We expect these cases to be contained as those affected report to health facilities for proper assessment and management,” Dr Eggers said.

The response is hampered by community members treating themselves at home hence few cases being seen in hospitals, existence of massive breeding sites in the affected areas and inadequate vector control chemicals.

Chikungunya is a preventable and self-limiting disease. Communities have a major role to play to control the outbreak1 and are encouraged to use personal protection measures to minimize human contact with mosquitoes in the form of mosquito repellent preparations over the exposed body parts, and insecticide-treated bed nets and window screens even while sleeping during the day. They should be advised to cooperate during spraying, fogging and destruction of larvae before they mature into full grown mosquitoes. Other measures that communities should take include: –

  • Keeping the environment clean, eliminating mosquito breeding- Weeds and tall grasses in all premises should be chipped as adult mosquitoes look for these shady places to rest during the hot daylight hours;
  • Have infants and others required to sleep during the daytime do so under bed nets;
  • Intensify efforts to remove stagnant water from all junk items lying unattended in the peridomestic area;
  • At the school level, school children should be imparted health education on all aspects of chikungunya fever, including what it is, how it spreads, the role of mosquitoes, where and how they breed/rest, and how they can be controlled.

”We support the call by the county to urge members of the public to report to health facilities for proper assessment and management and to clear bushes and garbage to avoid further breeding of the mosquitos” Dr Eggers added.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO).

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Kenya: World Health Organization Statement on the Chikungunya Outbreak in Mombasa

World Health Organization, WHO, is helping the government to contain an outbreak of Chikungunya in Mombasa following reports from clinicians of increased unknown febrile illness that presented with very high fever, joint pains and general body weakness. The tests were found malaria negative and sometimes dengue fever negative.

The outbreak has affected all the six-sub counties namely, Mvita, Kisauni, Nyali, Changamwe, Jomvu and Likoni. Most cases are found on the island, Mvita.

By January 4, 2018, the Ministry of Health had reported 69 cases of which 32 samples have been tested at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Labs in Nairobi. Twenty-seven (27) of the cases were found positive while five were negative.

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease characterized by an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. The joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged to weeks. The virus can cause acute, subacute or chronic disease.

The Ministry of Health is monitoring the situation and Kenya Medical Research Institute, KEMRI, has sent a rapid response team to support Mombasa County after initial lab examination found positive cases. Of the eight samples, 50% (4) were confirmed positive for chikungunya and 50% (4) for dengue. In addition, two (2) samples had both chikungunya and Dengue (Co infection). WHO is providing technical support and is monitoring the situation. An emergency officer is on the ground to do a rapid assessment and to support the teams, Country Representative Dr Rudi Eggers has said.

Reports of Chikungunya were first reported in mid-December and were rapidly followed up by collection of blood samples by the Disease Surveillance Unit. These were submitted to two private hospitals and to KEMRI labs in Nairobi for examination and confirmation. KEMRI then sent a rapid response team.

A batch of another 32 samples was collected and shipped to KEMRI labs by the team on January 4, 2018. The results indicate that majority, 27, of the cases were found positive of the disease while five were negative.

In response to the outbreak the Mombasa County has initiated various emergency and response activities which will continue for two weeks. These are:

  • Chikungunya control activities with regular review meetings initiated by the Mombasa County Outbreak Management Team;
  • Chikungunya outbreak alert and fact sheet issued to all sub counties and health facilities including private hospitals
  • Fliers have been developed and are distributed to households through the community health volunteers (This is integrated with cholera and control dengue activities)
  • Vector Control activities have been strengthened
  • An emergency kitty has been established and budget approved by the County to accelerate activities
  • Vector control chemical, Mos n Roch, 200Ltrs has been procured to facilitate fogging.
  • Four fogging machines have been procured by the County and launched on January 8, 2018, by His Excellency the Governor, Ali Hassan Joho.

The intensified response and rapid assessment will help contain the outbreak and the public have been urged to visit health facilities for proper assessment and management.

“We expect these cases to be contained as those affected report to health facilities for proper assessment and management,” Dr Eggers said.

The response is hampered by community members treating themselves at home hence few cases being seen in hospitals, existence of massive breeding sites in the affected areas and inadequate vector control chemicals.

Chikungunya is a preventable and self-limiting disease. Communities have a major role to play to control the outbreak1 and are encouraged to use personal protection measures to minimize human contact with mosquitoes in the form of mosquito repellent preparations over the exposed body parts, and insecticide-treated bed nets and window screens even while sleeping during the day. They should be advised to cooperate during spraying, fogging and destruction of larvae before they mature into full grown mosquitoes. Other measures that communities should take include: –

  • Keeping the environment clean, eliminating mosquito breeding- Weeds and tall grasses in all premises should be chipped as adult mosquitoes look for these shady places to rest during the hot daylight hours;
  • Have infants and others required to sleep during the daytime do so under bed nets;
  • Intensify efforts to remove stagnant water from all junk items lying unattended in the peridomestic area;
  • At the school level, school children should be imparted health education on all aspects of chikungunya fever, including what it is, how it spreads, the role of mosquitoes, where and how they breed/rest, and how they can be controlled.

”We support the call by the county to urge members of the public to report to health facilities for proper assessment and management and to clear bushes and garbage to avoid further breeding of the mosquitos” Dr Eggers added.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO).

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Source:: Kenya: World Health Organization Statement on the Chikungunya Outbreak in Mombasa

      

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Democratic Republic of Congo: UN Agencies in Urgent Bid to Prevent Famine in Kasai

In a stark warning, three UN agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP) – say time is running out to save hundreds of thousands of lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Farmers – who fled due to conflict – have missed three consecutive planting seasons. This has left people with almost nothing to eat. Food assistance is failing to fill the gap. Only 400,000 out of the 3.2 million severely food insecure people in Kasai received assistance in December. More than 750,000 are still displaced. Around 630,000 people have returned to their burned down villages after hiding in the forest, they must be helped to resume food production. Over ninety percent of rural communities depend entirely on agriculture.

“Agriculture is the only way to become productive again. Not only does it generate food and income for families, but it restores hope, dignity and self-reliance”, said Alexis Bonte, FAO Representative ad interim in the DRC.

The nutritional status of children is particularly critical.At least 400,000 children under five have severe, acute malnutrition,” said UNICEF’s Acting Representative in the DRC, Tajudeen Oyewale. “They are likely to die unless they urgently receive health, water, sanitation and nutrition support. Longer-term food security must be restored and feeding and care practices improved so that children can have access to the adequate quality food they need.”

The UN and its partners are racing against time to feed the people of Kasai, fight malnutrition among its children and build resilience. But the odds are stacked against them: infrastructure is limited, security poor and the cash short.

“There are signs that donors are beginning to respond, but resources are woefully inadequate given to the scale of human suffering”, said WFP’s Country Director in DRC, Claude Jibidar. “The Congolese government and the international community must re-engage on all fronts to prevent a major famine in Kasai. Failure to do so, immediately and collectively, means many people will die.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Food Programme (WFP).

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Somalia: US$1.6 billion urgently needed to save and protect 5.4 million lives from unprecedented drought

The 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan for Somalia, which calls for $1.6 billion to protect the lives of 5.4 million Somalis, was launched today by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Peter de Clercq.

In his remarks, De Clercq said: “Working together with the Somali authorities and with historical levels of support from the international community, I am proud that we averted a possible famine last year.

“Lasting solutions to drought, conflict and displacement remain, however, out of our reach, and much more must be done to eliminate the looming threat of famine in this country. We must tackle the humanitarian needs while simultaneously looking at longer-term solutions. If we do not continue to save lives and in parallel build resilience, then we have only delayed a famine, not prevented one,” warned de Clercq.

The 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) is an extension of the 2017 famine prevention efforts. It prioritises immediate relief operations in areas with significant numbers of people living in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4). The HRP now also includes a strategy to address protection gaps, particularly during humanitarian crises and for those most vulnerable, such as the internally displaced, women and children.

2017 was one of the most challenging years for Somalia, with the country precariously close to famine after several failed rainy seasons. Hundreds of thousands of people were driven from their homes as a result of the drought and persistent conflict, resulting in unprecedented levels of displacement. Food security needs have nearly doubled the fiveyear average, with an estimated 2,444,000 people in crisis and 866,000 in emergency — that is, one step away from famine — throughout Somalia. The number of Somalis on the brink of famine has grown tenfold since this time last year. An estimated 1.2 million children are projected to be malnourished in 2018, 232,000 of whom will face life-threatening severe acute malnutrition.

To mitigate future crises, humanitarians are working with development partners and Somali authorities to address the underlying causes of recurring crises, including food insecurity and mass displacement, through the development of a Recovery and Resilience Framework informed by a Drought Impact Needs Assessment. “With important progress made on the political and governance fronts, Somalia is on a positive trajectory, despite ongoing crises. The country has more effective institutions than it has for decades. However, these gains are reversible and must be protected. With continued international support, we can break the cycle of recurrent crises that undermine the peacebuilding and State-building process in Somalia,” De Clercq concluded.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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Source:: Somalia: US$1.6 billion urgently needed to save and protect 5.4 million lives from unprecedented drought

      

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