In the Salamat region, in the East of Chad, 4 mobile teams are fighting the cholera outbreak reaching out to the most secluded communities
In response to the cholera outbreak, which has affected more than 1,200 people and killed 71 since August 14th 2017, UNICEF has partnered with Action Against Hunger to dispatch 4 mobile teams and assist the secluded nomadic communities of the area.
On 22nd November, two new cases of cholera were confirmed in the Cholera Treatment Unit (CTU) of Mina. Both cases were children from Fadna, a nomadic camp, an hour and a half away from Mina by donkey.
Nomadic population are particularly vulnerable to cholera, considering their lifestyle. Carrying on with ancient traditions, nomadic communities change location and settle down where fresh pastures can be found for their herd. But in the cholera emergency context, this can create a major risk, as they often only rely on the ponds or rivers for water supply.
Partnering with Action against Hunger, UNICEF has been dispatching 4 mobile teams to reach out to nomadic communities to circumvent and respond to cholera, from decontamination after identification of cases to awareness-raising among communities.
“I arrived yesterday from Fadna by donkey with Safia, she is 10 months old. She has been vomiting and having diarrhea for the past three days. I brought her to the Cholera Treatment Unit on the second day, when I saw her condition worsen. I had never heard of cholera before. As soon as I got here they hospitalized her. In Fadna, we take water from the pond but now I know that I have to treat the water before drinking it.” Risala Mahamat, 18.
“When we heard, there were two new cases from Fadna, we came to the nomadic camp to decontaminate the environment. We, then raised awareness in the community to the good hygiene practices needed to prevent cholera contamination. We showed them how to chlorate the water and gave them hygiene kits, which includes soaps and water purifier packets to prevent any other cases.” Raissa Hinnone, member of the mobile team # 2
“Before the visit of the mobile team, I did not know what cholera was. I saw people vomiting and having diarrhea but I did not know what they had. In the past, we never used soap. It is a good thing for us to receive soaps and water purifier packets so that we can stay healthy.” Zara Adoum, 15
“We take the water from the pond, we never realize how unclean it was. Thanks to the water purifier packet you can see all the residue at the bottom of the bucket. I cannot believe all of this was going into my stomach. From now on, I will use everything I learned today.” Kaltouma Hassan, 40, nomadic camp of Fadna.