Current priorities: cholera and typhoid fever in tsunami affected areas of South Asia
Outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases are among the main communicable disease threats for populations living in tsunami affected areas. Activities for prevention, preparedness and control for epidemic diarrhoeal diseases including cholera and typhoid fever have been initiated immediately after the tsunami occurred and are as follows:
- Using EWARN data to guide prevention and control for vulnerable populations in high risk areas.
- Ensuring availability of rapid diagnostic tests for early diagnosis of suspected cases (cholera, typhoid).
- Reduce risk factors by providing clean water (quantity and quality), appropriate sanitation, adequate hygiene, adequate food safety, adequacy of and accessibility to health facilities.
- Start active health promotion in the communities.
- Stand by of water and sanitation engineers for deployment to the field in order to linking health with environmental management.
- Dissemination of norms and guidelines (see "important links" below).
- Planning for training of health care staff for proper case management in case of outbreaks (focus on ORS).
- Pre-positioning of WHO Emergency Kits "D" - Diarrhoeal Profile ; ensuring availability of further supply if needed.
Use of enteric vaccines:
- Development of Joint WHO/UNICEF recommendations on cholera and typhoid vaccine use in tsunami affected areas.
- Planning for use of vaccines for prevention and control of cholera and typhoid fever accordingly
Cross cutting issues:
- Ensure coordination and communication among partners and towards the public.
- Ensuring proper technical information on diarrhoeal diseases in various documents and on the web.
Important Definitions (according to established Early Warning System):
The occurrence, but especially the increase of one of the following three clinical syndromes in the crisis region can be the beginning of an outbreak of diarrhoeal diseases and has immediately to be investigated:
- Acute watery diarrhoea (suspected cholera): Acute watery diarrhoea with severe dehydration in a patient older than five years of age.
- Acute bloody diarrhoea (often shigella dysentery): Acute diarrhoea with or without dehydration with visible blood.
- Acute diarrhoea: Acute diarrhoea with or without dehydration