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Angola Cholera Crisis: MSF Operational Update
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Operational Update
June 6, 2006
Although the number of new cholera cases nationwide continues to slowly decrease, the outbreak in Angola has spread to provinces further from the capital, Luanda. Since February 13, when the first case was officially reported in Luanda, more than 43,0001 cases have been reported nationwide and more than 1,600 people have died. In the last 24 hours, more than 280 people became infected and eight died.
The outbreak has spread to 14 of Angola's 18 provinces. While over the last two weeks the outbreak has decreased in almost all the provinces, and stabilized in the provinces of Kwanza Sul and Huila, fresh cases have been reported in Lunda Norte and Namibe provinces. In Luanda, the number of new cases is now decreasing in all municipalities.
Since the beginning of its intervention, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has treated more than 26,000 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 40 international staff and approximately 500 national staff.
So far, more than 22,000 people have been infected by cholera in the capital city, and more than 18,500 of them have been treated in MSF centers. Since the first case was reported on February 13, 287 people have died in Luanda. MSF has set up 10 cholera treatment structures in the most affected areas: Boa Vista, Sambizanga, Cacuaco, Cazenga, Samba, Maianga, Casequel, Kilamba Kiaxi, and Viana. Several of these structures have now been handed over to the Angolan Ministry of Health. In the last few days there has been an average of 100 new admissions per day. In Kifandongo, where water trucks are filled, MSF continues to disinfect more than 500 trucks per day, which distribute a total of five million liters in different parts of Luanda.
In Cacuaco, Cazenga, Maianga, and Viana municipalities, MSF is currently running or supporting close to 40 oral re-hydration points inside local health centers.
In the town of Uige, where more than 110 cases and nine deaths have been reported so far, MSF has set up a cholera treatment center with a capacity of 25 beds and has handed over the structure to the local health authorities. The team carried out water and sanitation activities, trained the local staff, disinfected houses in the city, and performed sensitization activities to create awareness among the population on how to prevent cholera.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, 769 people have been infected and 69 have died. MSF has set up cholera treatment center (CTC) in the town of Lubango. The number of admissions is stable with an average of 20 new cases per day. MSF is supporting another cholera treatment unit (CTU) in Quilengue.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, more than 4,000 people have been infected and 198 have died. As the number of new cases has been decreasing significantly, the CTC in which MSF was working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health has now been reduced to a smaller CTU.
In Kuito, where three confirmed cases and one death were reported, MSF set up a small CTU and organized emergency preparedness training for the hospital staff. As no more cases have been reported, the CTU is now closed.
In Caxito, the provincial capital city, MSF continues to support the cholera center run by the local health authorities. Since the beginning of the outbreak, more than 2,300 cases have been reported and 97 people have died.
Kuanza Norte Province
Since the beginning of the epidemic, close to 3,800 people have been infected and 185 have died. The number of new cases has been decreasing rapidly in the last weeks. MSF has handed over to the Angolan authorities a cholera center in N'dalatando and another center in Dondo.
Kuanza Sul Province
More than 1,200 cases and 182 deaths have been reported so far in the province. MSF has set up a 60-bed CTC (48 for hospitalization and 12 for observation) in Sumbe, the provincial capital city. Three CTUs have been set up in Gabela, Porto AnboÃ¯n, and Balumbo. All of these structures are supported by MSF in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and local authorities.
Luanda Norte Province
Almost 300 cases and 84 deaths have been reported since the first cases appeared in the province in mid-May. MSF is supporting a CTC in Cuango and has set up, in collaboration with the local authorities, several CTUs in Muxinga, Luremo, Cafounfu, Capenda-Camulenba, and Xamu-Kelenge.
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.
In Benguela Province, more than 7,800 people have been infected and close to 500 have died. Provincial figures are slowly decreasing, but fresh cases have been reported recently in areas that had not been affected so far.
MSF is running a cholera treatment center in Benguela town and six smaller cholera structures in Benguela, Baia Farta, Catumbela, Cubal, Chongoroi, and Caimbambo. In Balombo, MSF is supporting a cholera treatment unit with a capacity of 30 beds. The team also carries out water trucking in the town. MSF is also supporting a cholera unit in Bocayo, a small town in the region.
Fresh cases appeared in the province at the end of May. Since then, more than 230 cases and seven deaths have been reported.
MSF is already working in a CTC in the town of Tombwa in collaboration with the Angolan authorities. Another CTC will open this week in Namibe, the provincial capital city, and a smaller structure will be set up in Lucira in the coming days.
1Official figures provided by the Angolan Ministry of Health.