Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for December, 2016

Oral Cholera Vaccine Coverage during an Outbreak and Humanitarian Crisis, Iraq, 2015


During November–December 2015, as part of the 2015 cholera outbreak response in Iraq, the Iraqi Ministry of Health targeted ≈255,000 displaced persons >1 year of age with 2 doses of oral cholera vaccine (OCV). All persons who received vaccines were living in selected refugee camps, internally displaced persons camps, and collective centers. We conducted a multistage cluster survey to obtain OCV coverage estimates in 10 governorates that were targeted during the campaign. In total, 1,226 household and 5,007 individual interviews were conducted. Overall, 2-dose OCV coverage in the targeted camps was 87% (95% CI 85%–89%). Two-dose OCV coverage in the 3 northern governorates (91%; 95% CI 87%–94%) was higher than that in the 7 southern and central governorates (80%; 95% CI 77%–82%). The experience in Iraq demonstrates that OCV campaigns can be successfully implemented as part of a comprehensive response to cholera outbreaks among high-risk populations in conflict settings.

Lam E, Al-Tamimi W, Russell S, Butt M, Blanton C, Musani A, et al. Oral Cholera Vaccine Coverage during an Outbreak and Humanitarian Crisis, Iraq, 2015. Emerg Infect Dis. 2017;23(1):38-45.


A truck driver plowed into a crowded Christmas market late Monday on a city square in central Berlin, killing at least 9 and injuring 50 others. Deliberate????

NY Times

“…The episode immediately evoked memories of the attack last July in Nice, France, when a truck driver ran over and killed more than 80 people during Bastille Day celebrations….”

Malaysia said on Monday the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar was a regional concern and called for the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) to coordinate humanitarian aid and investigate alleged atrocities committed against them.


“….Malaysia’s intervention in the Rakhine crisis marks a break with ASEAN members’ tradition of non-intervention in each other’s internal affairs…..”


Yemen: A suspected suicide bomber blew himself up outside a military camp in Aden on Sunday morning, killing at least 30 soldiers

NY Times

“…..At least 50 people were injured in the attack that took place as soldiers lined up to collect their salaries….”


Cholera cases in Yemen


Weekly update – Cholera cases in Yemen

The Ministry of Public Health and Population in Yemen has reported new cases of cholera in Yemen.

Since the last update on 6 December, 1173 new suspected cases of acute watery diarrhoea/ cholera and 3 additional deaths have been reported. As of 13 December, a cumulative total of 10 148 suspected cases of cholera, including 92 associated deaths have been reported across all affected governorates, with a case–fatality rate of 1%. The number of laboratory-confirmed cases of Vibrio cholerae 01 has risen to 156.

The affected areas include 135 districts in the governorates of Abyan, Aden, Al-Bayda’a, Al-Dhale’a, Al Hudaydah, Al Jawf, Amran, Dhamar, Hajjah, Ibb, Lahij, Raymah, Sana’a, Ta’izz as well as Sana’a City. However, over 65% of the reported cases were from Aden, Al-Bayda, Al Hudaydah and Ta’izz. About 70% of the reported deaths occurred in the governorates of Aden, Al Bayda’a, Al Hudaydah, Ibb and Ta’izz.

The cholera taskforce led by WHO, in partnership with the Ministry, UNICEF, OCHA and other partner organizations, continues to strengthen cholera response activities at the national and governorate levels. The prevention and intervention efforts taken so far have been effective in reducing the number of cases in some governorates, while new cases continue to be reported in others.

The taskforce continues to support the 26 cholera treatment centres and the 2 national health emergency control rooms in Aden and Sana’a. Rapid response teams have been deployed in the affected areas for effective and timely epidemiological investigation and response.

WHO has strengthened the capacity of local health workers through training on case management, infection control, water source chlorination and solid waste disposal and drainage network management.

Essential supplies such as rapid diagnostic test kits, IV fluids, oral rehydration solutions and water chlorination tablets have been provided in affected communities. WHO has also supported social mobilization and health education campaign among citizens to raise their awareness on prevention of cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases.

Acute watery diarrhoeal diseases are endemic in Yemen, however the ongoing conflict has stretched the capacity of the national health systems.

More than 7.6 million people, and more than 3 million internally displaced persons currently live in areas affected by the outbreak.

M7.9 – 46km E of Taron, Papua New Guinea: Scientists at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a statement claiming giant waves of up to 3 metres are possible.


ShakeMap Intensity image

Turkey: A car bomb blast killed 13 Turkish troops and wounded 55 persons, most of them military personnel.

US News


Rohingya and Counter-Insurgency


The International Crisis Group’s Thursday report, Myanmar: A New Muslim Insurgency in Rakhine State, said the new group, which led attacks on three Border Guard Police outposts in Maungdaw and Rathedaung townships that claimed the lives of nine security officers, calls itself Harakah al-Yaqin (Faith Movement).



An estimated one million stateless Rohingya have been stripped of their citizenship in Myanmar and forced to live in modern-day concentration camps, surrounded by government military checkpoints.


Credit:  UNHCR


Traces of explosives have been found on victims of the EgyptAir plane that crashed into the Mediterranean in May.


  • EgyptAir Airbus A320 flying overnight from Paris to Cairo crashed into the eastern Mediterranean Sea early on Thursday 19 May, 2016.
  • 66 passengers and crew on board.
  • Some flight debris  was later found floating in the Mediterranean, 290km north  of Alexandria.

Nile River Delta at Night



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