Date: Fri 30 Nov 2018
Source: Outbreak News Today [edited]

The Ministry of Health of Somalia has announced 27 new suspected cases of cholera, with one death, reported in Banadir region for epidemiological week 46 (12 to 18 Nov) of 2018. Of these new cases, 44% (12) are female, and 44% (12) are children below 5 years of age.

During this reporting period, of the 7 stool samples collected from suspected cholera cases and tested in the National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL), 6 samples were positive for _Vibrio cholera_, serotype O1 Ogawa. The cumulative total of cases is 6587, including 45 associated deaths (case-fatality rate, 0.7%), since the beginning of the current outbreak in December 2017 along the Shabelle River.

The number of weekly suspected cases has declined from a peak of 296 cases in epidemiological week 23 to 27 cases this week. For the past 3 weeks, the number of reported weekly cases ranges between 19 and 27. Only Banadir region has reported cases for 6 consecutive weeks, and this week active transmission of suspected cholera cases has been reported in 7 districts in Banadir: Darkenley, Daynile, Hawlwadag, Hodan, Karran, Madina, and Waberi. None of the cases reported this week had received the oral cholera vaccination (OCV) in 2017.

WHO is providing leadership and support to the Ministry of Health response efforts to this continued outbreak. WHO has continued to support clinical care delivery, including supervision and monitoring of case management in cholera treatment centres. Surveillance and prompt rumour investigation have been ongoing.

All alerts have been responded to across the country through the early warning alert and response network (EWARN), and routine collection and analysis of stool samples have continued at the NPHL. An OCV campaign has been planned for February 2019, targeting 660 000 people living in internal displaced person camps in 6 high-risk districts in Lower Jubba, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle, and Banadir regions. Also, an expansion of reporting sites through the EWARN system has been planned, adding another 400 health facilities in the country.
Date: Fri, 9 Nov 2018 16:16:59 +0100

Mogadishu, Nov 9, 2018 (AFP) - At least 10 people were killed Friday in blasts that occurred near a popular hotel and the police headquarters in the Somali capital Mogadishu, police said.    Twin car bombs exploded in the capital within moments of each other, followed by gunfire and a third blast a while later, sending thick plumes of black smoke into the sky, according to an AFP reporter.

The attack took place in the vicinity of the Sahafi hotel and Criminal Investigation Division (CID) police headquarters.   An initial "two blasts struck the perimeter of the Sahafi hotel along the main road... more than 10 people died, most of them civilians and some security guards," said police official Ibrahim Mohamed.   "I saw nine dead bodies along the road and they were civilians, some of them riding on rickshaws when the blasts occurred. Many more were wounded," witness Abdirahman Suleyman told AFP.   The exact target was not initially clear.

Mogadishu faces frequent bombings at the hands of Al-Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate which has been fighting to overthrow the internationally backed Somali government for over a decade.   The Shabaab were forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011.   But they still control parts of the countryside and attack government, military and civilian targets, seemingly at will, in Mogadishu and regional towns.
Date: Thu 25 Oct 2018
Source: Radio Ergo [edited]

Eleven children have died, and more than 40 others have been hospitalised in the past 5 weeks in a measles outbreak in Somalia's Middle Shabelle region.

According to Intersos, which runs the local hospital in Jowhar as well as a number of health posts in the region, dozens of families in several villages in the region have been affected by the measles outbreak since [20 Sep 2018].

The 1st measles cases were reported in Dha'afo in Mahaday district and Burane in Jowhar district.

Dr Abdirahman Ali Abdirahman, director of the Intersos hospital, confirmed the deaths of 11 children, adding that hundreds of others are highly vulnerable to death or permanent disability due to low levels of immunisation.

"The last time a vaccination campaign was carried out in these villages was 2017," Dr Abdirahman said. "The affected children were mostly those who were not brought for the vaccination because their parents do not understand the importance."

A father of 7 who lives in Dha'afo village told Radio Ergo that 3 of his children, a girl and 2 boys, were infected with measles. He had been using an herbal solution made from a local plant called Marer (_Cordia sinensis_) to treat the children.

He said the 2 boys recovered from the disease after several days, but his daughter's condition deteriorated, leading to her becoming blind. "We have been using Marer to treat the children, and the boys fully recovered, but the girl has been sick for 22 days. We later realised that the girl could not see anything, and we rushed her to the hospital, where the doctors confirmed that she had lost her sight," Jafar said.

[Another parent] who lives in Burane village 20 km [about 12.4 mi] from Jowhar town lost his 8-month-old daughter. Four of his children were infected with measles.

"I lost a girl to the disease, but the other 3 are now healthy. We don't have a dispensary in this village, and it is difficult to get any treatment if one falls sick," Adan said.

A mother who lives in Dha'afo village also lost her 4-year-old daughter. She blames the death of her daughter on the fact that she was not vaccinated. "Five of my children have contracted the disease. Four of them were immune to the disease and recovered quickly, but the daughter, who was never vaccinated, died of the disease," the bereaved mother said.
[Education of the parents is critical to teach them the importance of vaccination. If they do not appreciate its importance, they will not bring their children in to the clinics to be immunized. - ProMED Mod.LK]
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2018 19:06:34 +0200

Mogadishu, Oct 13, 2018 (AFP) - At least 16 people were killed in Somalia on Saturday in suicide bombings that targeted a restaurant and coffee shop, police said.   Suicide bombers walked into the two locations in the southwestern city of Baidoa and detonated their vests within minutes of each other, according to witnesses.

The blasts came a day before the first anniversary of a truck bombing that left more than 500 dead in Mogadishu, the worst ever attack in Somalia which was blamed on Islamist group Al-Shabaab.   "The number of the dead we have confirmed from the two blasts is 16 and nearly twenty others were wounded some of them seriously, nine people died in the second blast and seven in the first," said Abudulahi Mohamed, a police official in Baidoa.   "The targeted locations are populated by innocent civilians so that all of the victims were civilians, and the number of the dead can increase anytime because of the wounded," he added.

Mohamed Adam, another police official,  gave the same toll.   "I saw fifteen dead bodies at the hospital all of them collected from the scene of the attacks, many worried people poured into the hospital looking for their relatives" Abdi Hassan, a relative of a patient who was wounded in the blast.   Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, is fighting to overthrow the internationally backed Somali government in Mogadishu.   The Shabaab were forced out of the capital by African Union troops in 2011 but still control parts of the countryside and carry out attacks against government, military and civilian targets seemingly at will in Mogadishu and regional towns.
Date: Mon, 21 May 2018 18:09:02 +0200#

Addis Ababa, May 21, 2018 (AFP) - Flooding and strong winds caused by a tropical cyclone left at least 18 people dead and thousands homeless across two countries in the Horn of Africa, an aid agency said Monday.   Cyclone Sagar formed last week in the Gulf of Aden off Yemen's coast and made landfall on Saturday in Djibouti and Somaliland, a breakaway state in northern Somalia where the bulk of the deaths occurred.   "1,780 families fled their homes due to the storm, 16 people were reported killed, and at least 80 homes were destroyed," Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said in a statement, citing the UN's humanitarian coordinator OCHA.

The aid group added that the storm left two people dead in Djibouti's capital and flooded several neighbourhoods, affecting between 20,000 and 30,000 people.   "This is the biggest storm to hit the region in years," NRC regional director Nigel Tricks said.  The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the full extent of the damage in Somaliland remained unclear because the storm destroyed roads and communication infrastructure.

Forty fishermen who were at sea and were not warned about the storm remain unaccounted for, the body added.   Relief efforts have been hindered by deadly clashes that erupted last week in a disputed desert region between Somaliland and the semi-autonomous Somali state of Puntland.   Those clashes displaced 10,000 people and "further (complicated) an already complex humanitarian picture," OCHA said in a statement on Sunday.
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