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Angola Cholera Crisis: MSF Operational Update
Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Operational Update
May 18, 2006
The outbreak has so far spread to 11 of Angola's 18 provinces. During the last week, the situation has improved in Benguela and Malanje provinces, but new cases have been reported in Huila.
In Luanda, the number of new cases is decreasing in the northern part of the city (Boa Vista, Cacuaco, Sambizanga municipalities), but is increasing in the southern municipalities of Viana and Cazenga.
Since the beginning of its intervention, Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has treated more than 20,000 people and sent close to 400 tons of medical and logistical supplies to respond to the cholera outbreak. MSF teams are composed of more than 70 international staff and approximately 1,000 national staff.
MSF has produced a song about cholera to explain how to prevent infection and what to do when symptoms first arise. The song will be broadcast by national radio stations in the coming days.
So far, more than 17,500 people have been infected by cholera in the capital city and more than14,000 of them have been treated in MSF cholera treatment centers (CTCs). Since the first case was reported on February 13, more than 240 people have died in Luanda. MSF has set up ten CTCs in the most affected areas: Sambizanga, Cacuaco, Cazenga, Samba, Maianga, Casequel and Kilamba Kiaxi. In the last few days the average number of new admissions has varied between 300 and 400 cases per day.
In total, MSF has a capacity of approximately 700 beds in Luanda. A new 50-bed CTC opened this week in Maianga municipality. In Viana, a cholera treatment unit of the Angolan Ministry of Health will be supported with training and medical and logistical supplies.
In Kifangondo, where tanker trucks are filled to bring water to different areas of Luanda, MSF is disinfecting more than 500 trucks per day for that distribute a total of 5 million liters of water.
In Cacuaco, Cazenga, and Maianga municipalities, MSF is installing 24 oral rehydration points–where people infected with cholera are rehydrated–inside local health centers. People with severe cases of cholera are referred immediately to CTCs. Mobile teams will monitor the different points on a daily basis. The purpose of having a network of oral rehydration points in the most affected areas is to reduce the time between when a patient is first screened and then referred to a CTC, and to lessen the time spent to treat patients that do not require hospitalization. The latter objective will help reduce pressure on the CTCs.
In the town of Huige, MSF is planning to set up a new 15-bed CTC and to launch preventive measures to create awareness amongst the population on how to prevent cholera.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, more than 360 people have been infected and the number of new cases is currently increasing. In Lubango town, MSF has opened a new 150-bed capacity CTC. MSF is supporting another 40-bed CTC in Quilengue.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, more than 3,500 people have been infected and more than 180 have died. MSF is supporting a 120-bed CTC.
In Kuito, where three confirmed cases and one death have been reported, MSF organized emergency preparedness training for the hospital staff.
In Caxito, the provincial capital city, MSF will continue to support the CTC. Since the beginning of the outbreak, more than 1,900 cases have been reported and 81 people have died. In the last 24 hours, 19 new cases have been reported.
Kuanza Norte Province
The situation is improving in this province with the number of new cases decreasing. Since the beginning of the epidemic, more than 3,200 people have been infected by cholera. In N'dalatando, MSF is supporting an 85-bed CTC and another 20-bed center in Dondo.
In Ukuma and Kala, MSF organized emergency preparedness training for the local staff of the two main health structures and donated medical and logistical supplies.
MSF is operating one 150-bed CTC in Benguela town. Additionally, MSF is running five CTCs in Baia Farta, Catumbela, Cubal, Benguela, and Caimbambo (total capacity: 160 beds). In Benguela Province, more than 7,200 people have become infected and 496 have died. The number of new cases is now decreasing; in the last 24 hours, close to 40 new cases were reported, with no deaths. One other 40-bed CTC has been operating in Chomgoroi. In Balombo, MSF organized emergency preparedness training for the local hospital staff and donated medical and logistical supplies.
1Official figures provided by the Angolan Ministry of Health.