WHO & Regional Offices [to 6 May 2017]

WHO & Regional Offices [to 6 May 2017]

Somalia launches second cholera vaccination campaign in Baidoa
3 May 2017 – WHO and the Federal Ministry of Health of Somalia launched the first round of a preventative oral cholera vaccination campaign (OCV) today in Baidoa at the Baidoa Regional Hospital, targeting 224 000 persons aged 1 year and older.

The launch was attended by the President of South West State H.E. Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, Somalia’s Minister of Health and Social Services H.E. Dr Fawziya Abikar, WHO Representative for Somalia Dr Ghulam Popal and state Minister of Health Issak Ali Subag along with the community, local leaders and representative of UN and NGO partners.

The vaccination campaign is in response to a major cholera outbreak in Somalia that began in January 2017. Since the beginning of the year, a total of 31 674 cases and 618 deaths have been reported in Somalia. Of these, 18 608 cases and 415 deaths have been reported in the South West State, which is nearly 60% of all AWD/ cholera cases reported in the country.

The start of the rainy season has brought some respite to the community where clean water sources are scare, however, the effects of the drought in Somalia have had its harsh impact. Lack of access to clean water and hygiene, food insecurity and malnutrition caused by drought have increased cases of cholera in the area.

The vaccination campaign is conducted in 2 rounds and will conclude before the start of Ramadan. The cholera vaccine does not replace traditional preventative measures such as access to clean water and safe hygiene practises. Supplementing the cholera vaccine, water treatment tablets were distributed to the community during the campaign by the WASH cluster.

H.E. Dr Fawziya Abikar thanked WHO for supporting the Ministry of Health in introducing oral cholera vaccines in the country. “This is an important step to prevent the further spread of cholera and we are thankful to WHO and partners for their continued support in containing this outbreak,” she said.

The OCV campaign in Baidoa follows a successful vaccination campaign that was implemented in 7 high-risk districts in Banadir, Hiraan and Lower Jubba regions. A concurrent vaccination campaign has also started in Jowhar in Middle Shebelle region this week, targeting 239000 vulnerable persons aged 1 year and above.

Dr Ghulam Popal reiterated WHO’s commitment to support cholera response efforts across the country. “We are working with health authorities at all levels and humanitarian partners to limit this outbreak,” he said.

The vaccination campaigns are supported by the Global Task Force on Cholera Control, GAVI the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF, Sweden and health partners in its various stages of planning and implementation. WHO is also engaged in planning, organization and monitoring of the campaigns.

Disease outbreak news [DONs]

:: Unexplained cluster of deaths – Liberia  5 May 2017
:: Hepatitis E – Niger 5 May 2017
:: Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus – China  1 May 2017

Noncommunicable diseases: the slow motion disaster
May 2017 — Of all the major health threats to emerge, none has challenged the very foundations of public health so profoundly as the rise of chronic noncommunicable diseases. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases, once linked only to affluent societies, are now global, and the poor suffer the most.

“Fight antibiotic resistance… it’s in your hands”
May 2017 – World Hand Hygiene Day, marked globally on 5 May, highlights the importance of hand hygiene in health care. The slogan of this year’s campaign illustrates the important relationship between good infection prevention and control practices like washing your hands and preventing antibiotic resistance.

Drowning: confronting the silent killer in the Philippines
May 2017 – In the Philippines, an average of 3276 deaths per year from accidental drowning and submersion were recorded in 2006–2013. To address this, WHO, the Philippine Department of Health, local government units, and Bloomberg Philanthropies undertook a drowning prevention project.


Weekly Epidemiological Record, 5 May 2017, vol. 92, 18 (pp. 229–240)
:: Progress towards measles elimination – African Region, 2013–2016 :: Monthly report on dracunculiasis cases, January– March 2017

GIN April 2017 pdf, 1.21Mb 1 May 2017


WHO Regional Offices
Selected Press Releases, Announcements
WHO African Region AFRO
:: High-level meeting on Ebola Vaccines gets underway in Conakry, Guinea [undated]
WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti and the Director-General of WHO, Dr Margaret Chan are in Conakry, Guinea to participate in the high-level meeting on Ebola Vaccines for Guinea and the World
:: In Kenya, the path to elimination of malaria is lined with good preventions – 02 May 2017

WHO Region of the Americas PAHO
:: Traffic speed management key to saving lives, making cities more livable (05/04/2017)
:: Hand hygiene is key to safe care and prevention of antibiotic resistance (05/04/2017)

WHO South-East Asia Region SEARO
No new announcements identified.

 WHO European Region EURO
:: Hand hygiene a key defence in Europe’s fight against antibiotic resistance 04-05-2017
:: Highlighting nurses and midwives’ commitment to delivering the highest quality care 04-05-2017
:: Regional Director commits continuing support to Romania to stop measles outbreak and improve immunization performance 03-05-2017
:: WHO Regional Director for Europe highlights key health aspects for SDG implementation at the first Regional Forum on Sustainable Development 03-05-2017
:: Georgia hosts meeting on improving antenatal care in eastern Europe and central Asia 02-05-2017

WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region EMRO
:: Antimicrobial resistance: now a political priority  May 2017

WHO Western Pacific Region
:: Slow down to save lives  5 May 2017