Oct 28, 2010 – Health Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu has reiterated the need for African governments to strengthen their national capacities for surveillance of diseases.
Prof. Chukwu speaking at the opening of a conference which focused on adequate surveillance system for quick prevention and control of the cross border diseases stated that “open and transparent information exchange are very critical in international health regulations which is the first pivotal step in ensuring an effective disease control effort.”
He noted that early detection and timely response to cholera and other Communicable diseases will ensure that the diseases don’t spread from localities where they originated to other regions and countries.
The Nigerian Minister of Health noted that diseases know no border and as such “these diseases have transverse boundaries which make the countries in the region vulnerable in the event of any outbreak of the any of the diseases.’
He said that 90 per cent of cholera cases reported annually is in Africa, which is characterised by inadequate sanitation and lack of clean drinking water which are conditions that aid the spread of disease.
Oct 27, 2010 – Haiti‘s department of public health has recorded 4,147 confirmed cases and 292 deaths from cholera since the outbreak was reported last week, officials from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) announced Wednesday. The PAHO is watching the spread of the disease closely, for fear that cholera could cross the border into the Dominican Republic.
On Tuesday, the United Nations reported Nigeria‘s worst outbreak in recent years, with more than 1,500 dead.
But these two are not the only nations seeing effects from the deadly illness. As of this month, four African nations – Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger – have reported more than 40,000 cases of cholera and more than 2,000 deaths. And Pakistan, a country that is still suffering from the effects of horrific floods, also is reporting 100+ cases of cholera since last month.
October 28, 2010 – Contrary to a widely published United Nations (UN) report that put the cholera cases and death tolls in Nigeria at 38,173 and above 1,500 respectively, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) has said that the country had 37,289 cholera cases and 1,434 deaths between January I, 2010 and October 25, 2010.
Chief Epidemiologist FMOH, Dr. Henry Akpan, told The Guardian: “We base our figures from reports we get from the states and our partners who are working in the states. We do not base our figures on newspaper reports.
In epidemiology there are processes. “Well I can confirm to you that since January 1, 2010 and today, October 26, 2010, we have recorded 37,289 cases of cholera and 1,434 deaths. Any other report is wrong.
Presently our staff and our partners are on ground in the states addressing the situation.”
According to the UN, cholera has killed more than 1,500 people in Nigeria this year, more than four times the death tolls reported by the government in August. The lethal waterborne disease has spread to Nigeria’s West African neighbours Cameroun, Chad, Niger and Benin, where it has thrived because of severe rains and flooding.
NEW YORK, 28 October 2010 (IRIN) – Medical staff and supplies arebeing rushed to Artibonite department, where five cholera treatment centres are being erected to complement the main hospital and clinics, in a bid to prevent the disease from reaching the capital, Port-au-Prince.
If cholera were to spread to the hundreds of poorly equipped camps in and around Port-au-Prince holding 1.3 million people, the result “would really be a catastrophe”, said Ian Greenwald, chief medical officer for a Duke University team of doctors, which visited the camps after the 12 January earthquake. “The amount of severe illness and death that could result is significant.” Artibonite is just 100km from the capital.
Cholera is an acute infection of the small intestine that is contracted primarily by ingesting water contaminated by infected faeces. Of great concern is Haiti’s significant water and sanitation problem; even before the earthquake, 45 percent of the population lacked access to safe water and 83 percent did not have adequate sanitation facilities.
In a report on Haitian sanitation issued in July this year, six months after the earthquake, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said the “earthquake has made a bad situation so much worse”.
Oct 28, 2010 – A cholera epidemic nearing Haiti’s squalid tent cities threatens to compound the country’s humanitarian disaster. FRANCE 24 reports on the efforts to test and treat water stocks.
The cholera epidemic that has claimed almost 300 lives and spread to some 4,700 Haitians since last week is yet to peak, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday. The rate of cholera deaths has declined since the outbreak. However, the disease is spreading, according to data released Wednesday by the country’s health ministry, with new cases confirmed in the country’s north.
Oct 27, 2010 – In response to the recent outbreak of cholera in Haiti, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is adapting 22,000 standard hygiene kits to meet specific needs that would reduce and prevent the spread of the epidemic.
Port-au-Prince – In response to the recent outbreak of cholera in Haiti, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is adapting 22,000 standard hygiene kits to meet specific needs that would reduce and prevent the spread of the epidemic. The kits contain chlorine pills to purify water, rehydration salts and additional soap to maintain higher levels of hygiene. Distribution of the kits will target pregnant women and will continue until the epidemic is under control.
UNFPA warns that cholera may increase the risk of miscarriages and premature births, and may put people living with HIV and other immunodeficient illnesses at a high risk.
Dan Campbell, Web
Environmental Health at USAID
1611 North Kent St., Suite 300
Arlington, VA 22209
Environmental Health at USAID: http://www.ehproject.org
Indoor Air Pollution Updates: http://iapnews.wordpress.com
Sanitation Updates: http://sanitationupdates.wordpress.com
Urban Health Updates: http://urbanhealthupdates.wordpress.com
Cholera Google Group: http://groups.google.com/group/cholera-control
Household Water Treatment Google Group: http://groups.google.com/group/household-water-treatment