Update from Somalia
18 January 2005
The assessment of the health impact of the tsunami on the affected population is ongoing, despite many logistical difficulties due to the difficult terrain with non-existent roads, size of the affected areas and communication constraints.
There are 8 sentinel sites, which were engaged into routine surveillance for the 5 most common epidemic prone diseases (measles, meningitis, bloody diarrhea, watery diarrhea and malaria). These are being now activated into daily reporting and the reporting has been extended to include more information on Outpatient visits, deliveries, injuries, deaths, ARI and malnutrition. In addition, a plan is being developed to include other health posts and centers into an early warning system, using the polio teams and relying on various means of communication (radio, telephones...)
Review of the available data show at this stage that no outbreak of measles, malaria, diarrhea or meningitis has been reported.
It is important to note that some of the affected districts had been showing the impact of the droughts and assessment missions in November had documented increased rates of malnutrition.
The areas affected had already been suffering from shortages in clean water and absence of sanitation systems. UNICEF is planning to activities to ensure clean water.
Next week an interagency multi-sector assessment mission is planned, including members from the Tsunami Task force from Nairobi representing UN agencies and NGO partners going to Garowe and then to the Garowe sub-office will participate. The objectives of this mission will be to to assess damages , identify gaps and priories for mid-long term action. This task force has been planning also to adapt tools for the assessment, The missions should leave on 28th to Garowe and from Garowe to the field on 30th of January.
In Garowe The DG for Health of Puntland and Somali Red Crescent had asked that WHO accompanies them to the Bandar Beyl region. Tsunami affected areas. WHO Somalia will be participating. The WHO Garowe sub-office will be strengthened with relevant staff. -