Humanitarian Health Action

Horn of Africa


  • November 2011

    Horn of Africa crises update

    The rainy season has started in the Horn of Africa (HoA), where more than 13 million people continue to depend on humanitarian assistance due to the latest drought and related food crisis. Although the rains will have long-term positive effects on food production, the rains also bring increased risk of mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria and dengue and waterborne illnesses such as cholera and other severe diarrhoeal diseases. In addition, heavy rains are washing out roads, making it more difficult for health workers to reach their posts, medical supplies to be delivered, and rapid response teams to investigate reports of disease outbreaks.

  • 19 November 2011

    Djibouti: Ministry of Health has reported an outbreak of acute watery diarrhea (AWD) in Djibouti District. Ethiopia: General AWD trends decreasing, one newly reported outbreak in Debeweyin woreda. Dadaab camps: 158 AWD/Cholera cases line listed since August ten cholera cases confirmed by stool culture; No AWD/Cholera prevalence recorded in Kenya outside the Dadaab camps. Somalia: Outbreaks in 3 new districts, increasing trends in the country. Uganda: No AWD/Cholera cases reported.

  • 28 August 2011

    Weekly highlight

    The health situation in the drought-affected areas remains precarious. Some areas of HOA expect heavy downpour during the coming rainy season from end September 2011 into January 2012. The combination of severe malnutrition, the drought, a highly mobile population, together with poor sanitation, possible flooding and physical access problems to health facilities during the rainy season, provides ground for a highly increased risk of outbreaks of diarrhea diseases andmalaria.

  • 18 August 2011

    Weekly highlight

    The health situation in the drought affected areas continues to deteriorate. During the week, there was an upsurge in the weekly incidence of cholera/AWD in Somalia while measles cases are still being reported from the refugee camps of Kenya and Ethiopia despite the repeated measles campaigns. According to data provided by UNHCR, the health situation in the Dolo Ado camps of Ethiopia is critical with Crude Mortality Rate (CMR) and Under 5 Mortality Rate (U5MR) of as high as 4.5/10,000/day and 14.9/10,000/day respectively. Some drought affected areas of HOA witnessed heavy rains during the week thereby increasing the risk of outbreaks of diarrhea diseases and malaria.

  • 8 August 2011

    Weekly highlight

    The situation in Somalia continues to deteriorate; according to a FEWSNET press release of 3rd August 2011, famine has been declared in three more areas (Balcad and Cadale districts of Middle Shabelle, IDP communities of Afgoye and Mogadishu) of Somalia. This brings the total number of famine affected areas in the country to five. In Kenya, livestock including camels continue to die while food prices have more than tripled resulting in increasing malnutrition at the community level. The situation in Ethiopia is also critical; according to a Government of Ethiopia (GoE) document, there is a 47% increase in number of people requiring food assistance to 4.5 million with an additional US$ 398.4 million in humanitarian funding required for the period July to December 2011. The Health and Nutrition requirement stands at $31.4 million with $17.6 million going for nutrition response and $13.8 million for emergency health response.

  • 20 July 2011

    Building up health response in the Horn of Africa

    20 July 2011 -- In the worst-affected areas of the Horn of Africa, child malnutrition rates range between 15 and 45%, and are expected to rise. Lack of water, low immunization coverage and precarious sanitation resulting from displacements combine to increase the risk of communicable diseases such as cholera, typhoid fever, diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections and measles. Outbreaks of acute watery diarrhoea and measles have already been reported in Djibouti and Ethiopia. On 25–29 July, UNICEF, WHO and the Kenyan Ministry of Health will vaccinate an estimated 215 000 children against polio and measles along the Somali-Kenyan border and in the Dadaab refugee camps.

  • 14 July 2011

    Impact on the health of communities in the Horn of Africa

    In the Horn of Africa, increasingly frequent drought episodes punctuated by ever shorter recovery periods have exhausted the coping capacity of communities in a region where resources and services are already scarce. The resulting depletion of household resources is having a serious impact on the general health and nutritional status of the population.

  • 8 July 2011

    Drought and food crisis in the Horn of Africa

    The Horn of Africa is facing what has been described as the worst drought in over half a century. Around ten million people in Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. In Somalia, where the drought is compounded by the escalating conflict, tens of thousands of people have fled to the neighbouring countries of Ethiopia and Kenya, where many of them are living in overcrowded camps without adequate health care, clean water or proper sanitation. Malnutrition rates are soaring, and the low vaccination coverage of children is leading to concerns over possible communicable disease outbreaks.

  • July 2011

    Somali refugees in the region