Djibouti 1998

MSF response to cholera outbreak

In November 1997 MSF responded to a request from the Ministry of Health to assist with a cholera epidemic resulting from severe flooding and a poor sanitation system in the town itself.

A team was quickly in place and re-organising one of the two cholera treatment centres, where improvements in the quality of patient care succeeded in lowering the case fatality rate from 5.6% to 1%.

In addition, oral rehydration points were set up in three of the five town health centres, detection techniques were improved and health education messages were disseminated.

As the hospital did not have the capacity to treat severely malnourished children discharged from the treatment centre, support was also provided for the paediatrics department.

After the peak of the epidemic had passed in the town, the team assisted the local partners to prepare for the next one that may occur and carried out a nutritional survey before withdrawing in March 1998.