Beginning 30 September 2012, cases of diarrheal disease were reported in Bujumbura Town and Bujumbura Rural in Burundi. Three days later, the National Laboratory confirmed a cholera outbreak and the Minister of Health declared it a national disaster.
An assessment carried out by Burundi Red Cross Society (BRCS) in coordination with other partners indicated that a total of 7 districts in 6 provinces were affected. These districts are Rugombo, Mpanda, Kabezi,Bujumbura Town, Rumonge, Makamba and Nyanza-Lac.
Since the onset of the cholera outbreak, the National Society has been responding using a pre-positioned WatSan kit 5 and WatSan trained staff providing safe drinking water, non food items (NFI) and hygiene promotion messages. While the National Society has been able to respond so far using its own resources, the WatSan kit 5 now needs replenishment and additional NFI stocks are required to assist the increasing number of families affected by the cholera outbreak.
During the response, Burundi Red Cross initially mobilized 70 volunteers and has now scaled down to 20 volunteers for completion of the activities. So far, about three quarters of the targeted 2,800 families have been reached by Burundi Red Cross. Districts that have so far been declared free of cholera (no new cases over the last ten days) include Mpanda, Rugombo, Kabei and Makamba.
Efforts of the National Society and of other partners are now focused on the districts of urban Bujumbura, Nyanza Lac and Rumonge.
This operation was carried over a period of three months (October - December, 2012) and will therefore be completed by 31 December 2012. A Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 31 March 2013).