BEYOND OUR BORDERS
Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi:
Tropical Cyclone Idai: The cyclone Idai hit the city of Beira in Mozambique and caused flooding in parts of neighbouring Zimbabwe and Malawi. As of 20 March 2019, more than 200 people in Mozambique and 100 people in Zimbabwe had been confirmed dead. Thousands of people remain displaced in the countries. Currently, humanitarian workers from across the globe are on the ground assisting in response measures. Some people remain missing or trapped. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the health threat in these situations arise from communicable diseases including malaria, diarrhoea and typhoid fever. These are aggravated by disruption of health and social services. WHO has since sent supplies and human resources to assist in the recovery.
Polio: Some countries continue to register cases of polio despite eradication efforts. In 2018, The Global Polio Eradication Initiative reported 138 cases [33 wild poliovirus (WPV) and 105 circulating vaccine derived poliovirus (cVDPV)]. As of 20 March 2019, there were eight cases reported: two WPV cases from Afghanistan, four WPV cases from Pakistan and two cVDPV from Nigeria. Onset of paralysis was on 12 and 20 January 2019, and 7 February 2019, respectively. In the month of March 2019, environmental samples from Afghanistan tested positive for WPV type1 and environmental samples from Nigeria and Niger tested positive for cVDPV type2. Response to the cVDPV polio outbreak in Zambezia, Mozambique, continues despite the catastrophic results of the cyclone in Beira. (Sources: http://polioeradication.org , www.promedmail.org)
Fake Meningitis Vaccine: On 15 March 2019, the Niger Health Authoritie reported the discovery of a counterfeit meningitis vaccine at one of the pharmacies in the capital, Niamey. The country is in the meningitis belt and experiences outbreaks of the disease. On 5 March 2019, the country embarked on a campaign to vaccinate children against meningitis A; among the activities in the campaign was inspection of vaccine outlets that led to the discovery of the fake drug. The vaccine is called Mencevax ACWY, is labeled to have been manufactured in December 2016, and is viable until November 2021. The Health Authorities are yet to establish how many children have been vaccinated with this fake vaccine and urge all service providers to be vigilant and report this vaccine.
Lassa fever: Nigeria continue to fight a Lassa fever outbreak. In the reporting week 11 (11 - 17 March, 2019) 23 new confirmed cases were reported from nine states – Edo (8), Ondo (4), Ebonyi (3), Bauchi (3), Taraba (1), Imo (1), Enugu (1), Benue (1) and Kebbi (1) with four new deaths in Edo (2), Benue (1) and Bauchi (1) States. From 1 January to 17 March, 2019, a total of 1 801 suspected cases has been reported from states. Of these, 495 were confirmed positive, 15 probable and 1 277 negative (not a case). Since the onset of the 2019 outbreak, there have been 114 deaths in confirmed cases. Case fatality ratio in confirmed cases is 23.0%. In the reporting week 11, one new healthcare worker was affected in Ebonyi state. A total of 16 healthcare workers has been infected since the onset of the outbreak in seven states – Edo (7), Ondo (3), Ebonyi (2), Enugu (1), Rivers (1), Bauchi (1) and Benue (1) with two deaths in Enugu and Edo States.
Communicated by: The National Institute for Communicable Diseases