Africhol in Tanzania

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Since the seventh pandemic reached the country in 1974, cholera has been reported almost every year in Tanzania. The three largest epidemics occurred in 1992, 1997 and 2006. This most recent large scale epidemic accounted for 14,297 cases spread over 16 regions, with Dar es Salaam as the most affected area.

In the context of cholera surveillance activities, Africhol collaborates with the Epidemiology and Disease Control section of the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.

The Africhol enhanced surveillance zones include Temeke in Dar es Salaam, as well as Mwanza and Magu districts in the Lake Victoria region.

Cholera epidemiology in Tanzania

The first cholera cases in Tanzania were reported in 1974. From 1977 to 1992, cases were reported each year with a case fatality rate ranging between 1.8% and 11.4%. The first major cholera outbreak occurred in 1992 when 18,526 cases and 2,173 deaths were recorded (CFR 11.7%).

In 1997, an epidemic that started at the end of January in Dar es Salaam accounted for 40,249 cases and 2,231 deaths (CFR 5.54%). Seven regions were affected and Vibrio cholerae El Tor Ogawa was confirmed. Between 2002 and 2006, mostTanzanian regions have reported cholera cases and nine of them reported more than 2,000 cases. During 2006, a total of 14,297 cases were reported from 16 regions, including 254 deaths.Dar es Salaam was the most affected region, accounting for 63% of the total cases and 40% of the total deaths.

National surveillance

Cholera surveillance is conducted by the section for Epidemiology and Disease Control within the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare. Under the current Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) strategy, health facilities in Tanzania are required to immediately notify the district when they suspect an outbreak, and to provide weekly reports for 7 outbreak-prone diseases, and monthly reports for 13 priority diseases.

For suspect cholera cases, all health centres must investigate all cases ll of severe diarrhoea.  Suspected cases or deaths from cholera must be reported to the nearest health center and from there to the District Medical Officer (DMO). The DMO must confirm the outbreak based on the laboratory results. The DMO is supposed to report to District commissioner, District Executive Director and Regional Medical officer in less than twelve (12) hours

Enhanced surveillance zones in Tanzania

Africhol is collaborating with the Ministry of Health to identify enhanced surveillance zones for Cholera.

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