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ANNUAL REPORT OF THE HUMANITARIAN / RESIDENT COORDINATOR ON THE USE OF CERF GRANTS. Tanzania. Oscar Fernandez Taranco

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ANNUAL REPORT OF THE HUMANITARIAN / RESIDENT COORDINATOR ON THE USE OF CERF GRANTS Country Humanitarian / Resident Coordinator Tanzania Oscar Fernandez Taranco Reporting Period January 1, 2007 December
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ANNUAL REPORT OF THE HUMANITARIAN / RESIDENT COORDINATOR ON THE USE OF CERF GRANTS Country Humanitarian / Resident Coordinator Tanzania Oscar Fernandez Taranco Reporting Period January 1, 2007 December 12, 2007 I. Executive Summary Confirmed cases of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in animals and humans were reported in Somalia and on the Kenyan side of Tanzania s northern border on November By early 2007 the outbreak appeared to be moving south to the Tanzanian border. This raised concern about the potential for the outbreak spreading or emerging in Tanzania. On the 31st January 2007, two patients were admitted to Arusha Regional Hospital with signs and symptoms suggestive of RVF. Both patients died soon after. A team comprising of the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW), Muhimbili University, Veterinary, Regional and District teams was assembled to address the problem. Post mortem examinations confirmed that both patients had RVF. In order to stop a potential pandemic in both animals and humans, a request for Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) funding through its rapid response window was put forward in April 2007 by the Resident Coordinator (RC). Three United Nations (UN) agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Children s Fund (UNICEF) and WHO undertook CERFassisted activities with the common objective to prevent the spread of RVF to non-infected areas in order to save lives and prevent suffering. The $1.2 million allocated from CERF s rapid response window enabled humanitarioan partners to initiate life-saving interventions in a timely fashion. In light of the nature of RVF, which causes severe disease and death in both animals and humans, as well as economic losses and the potential loss of livelihoods for pastoralists in particular. Rapid funding was crucial as the RVF outbreak occurred right before the start of the rainy season which would have accelerated the spread of the disease thereby posing further threats to human lives. The CERF funding contributed significantly to the reduction in human cases; research shows that in RVF outbreaks the majority of human deaths are caused by practices that favour disease transmission hence the life-saving role of rapid diagnostic, epidemiological assessment and rapid design and implementation of social mobilisation and health promotion efforts. FAO reported in May 2007 that 680 cattle, 56,990 goats, and 32,900 sheep were affected and of these 1,729 cattle, 19,119 goats and 12,124 sheep had aborted. Steps taken by the Ministry of Livestock Development included purchase of 5.5 million doses of RVF vaccine and provision of equipment and funds to the Districts affected by the RVF outbreak. As of 9 th November 2007, 4.2 million animals had been vaccinated. Political leaders from different sectoral Ministries played a crucial role in the RVF control strategies by mobilizing and educating the public. Please see the figures in annex two for further details on the spread of RVF. The Government declared end of RVF epidemic at the end of June 2007, having had no new cases for one month. In total there were 307 cases reported, with 142 deaths. Region Reported Cases Deaths Arusha 12 3 Dodoma Singida D Salaam 1 1 Morogoro Manyara 6 4 Tanga 1 1 Mwanza 5 4 Iringa 6 2 Coast 6 2 Total Total amount of humanitarian funding required and received (per reporting year) Required: $2,280,767 Received: $1,200,061 Total amount of CERF funding received by funding window Total amount of CERF funding for direct UN agency/iom implementation and total amount forwarded to implementing partners Approximate total number of beneficiaries reached with CERF funding (disaggregated by sex/age if possible) Geographic areas of implementation Rapid Response: $1,200,061 Underfunded: Grand Total: $1,200,061 Total UN agencies/iom: $1,200,061 Total implementing partners: Total 10 million under 5 years of age Female (If available) Male (If available) Dodoma, Arusha, Tanga, Manyara, Morogoro, Kilimanjaro, Iringa and Singida and coastal regions The funds received by UNICEF were directed towards awareness-raising campaigns and behaviour modification as the majority of human cases were found to be due to behaviour and practices favouring transmission of the disease. The campaigns targeted the general public, especially children and specific groups, for instance livestock keepers, abattoir staff and refugees. As requested by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW), the funds received by WHO were directed towards urgent strengthening of the response capacity relating to outbreak investigation, surveillance and to basic inputs needed in the case of RVF: drugs, supplies, equipment and laboratory reagents. Support provided by FAO was used to strengthen institutional capacity for RVF surveillance and diagnosis. It is difficult to disaggregate the beneficiaries by age and sex, however, it is estimated that approximately ten million people were reached through the various activities at national, district and community level. II. Coordination and partnership building a) Decision-making process The decision-making process was influenced by the high risk of RVF infection in both humans and animals and by the identification of key challenges to an effective response; for example, it was acknowledged that: The public was ill-informed about RVF; Information had been at times misleading which led to unnecessary fears and scares; Tanzania had little means for early detection and reporting, hence early preparedness and response capacity was not optimal. 2 It was therefore decided that UN agencies should work together with other partners, but with a clear division of roles: FAO to focus on animal health; WHO to focus on human health; UNICEF to focus on raising awareness; The National Disaster Preparedness and Response Unit that deals with disasters including Avian Influenza and others was responsible for overall coordination of RVF preparedness and response. 3 b) Coordination amongst the humanitarian country team The MoHSW served as the focal point for all matters related to RVF; Laboratory investigations were done with support of Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI); WHO supported four rapid response teams which surveyed Tanga, Arusha, Dodoma and Morogoro; WHO, UNICEF, FAO, World Food Programme (WFP) and Untied Nations Development Programme (UNDP) met several times; Samples from animals were collected by the Ministry of Livestock Development (MoLD) and were examined. The results were late in coming and did not provide useful information in control efforts in human beings. c) Partnerships The main partners involved in the RVF campaign were: MoHSW, CDC-KEMRI, WHO, UNICEF, FAO, WFP, UNDP and the MoLD. d) Prioritization process The overall objective was to prevent the spread of the disease to non-infected areas in order to save lives and prevent human suffering while strengthening early warning activities. More specifically, the objectives were to: Improve safe management of infected animals and humans; Establish the magnitude of RVF outbreaks through active and passive surveillance including rumour investigations in order to save the lives of both humans and animals; Encourage use of acaricides/insecticides reducing human contact to mosquito and other means in which spread of RVF is possible; Advocate behavioural changes for farmers and the general public through targeted public awareness campaigns at National and Community levels; Coordinate activities within frontline institutions in charge of animal/human health to prevent further RVF contaminations. III. Implementation and Results In light of the nature of RVF, which causes severe disease and death in both animals and humans, economic losses and the potential loss of livelihoods for pastoralists in particular, the CERF funding enabled to initiate life-saving interventions in a timely fashion. This was crucial as the RVF outbreak occurred right before the start of the rainy season which would have accelerated the spread of the disease thereby posing further threats to human lives. The CERF funding contributed significantly to the reduction in human cases; research shows that in RVF outbreaks the majority of human deaths are caused by practices that favour disease transmission hence the life-saving role of rapid diagnostic, epidemiological assessment and rapid design and implementation of social mobilisation and health promotion efforts. FAO Prior to the start of the CERF project, FAO supported the Government veterinary services to survey 344 villages in 59 districts, and established that 72 villages in 29 districts were affected by the disease. Through the CERF project, FAO then provided RVF diagnosis laboratory equipment to all Veterinary Investigation Centres (VICs) in Tanzania. In addition training sessions took place for 152 field staff including meat inspectors and 50 laboratory technicians and veterinarians from all VICs. The training focused on sample collection, processing, transportation, storage and above all laboratory diagnostic tests in order to establish the spread of the disease and therefore put in place appropriate measures. FAO also supported the establishment of active surveillance activities through the VICs as shown in the report. The control of animal movements was taken care of by District Veterinary Officers, Meat Inspectors, and Animal Movement Control Officers in all Districts. Finally, vector control was intensified 4 whereby acaricide was provided by the Government to seriously affected areas such as Dodoma Region. Please see annex three for all the acronyms used by FAO. Activities of the FAO were implemented by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW) in 29 districts which had recorded RVF cases between January and May The campaign targeted the general public (including NGOs, community leader s primary and secondary schools) as well as specific risk groups (health/veterinary personnel, staff at abattoirs and livestock keepers/owners). It provided information to regions and districts level staff which in turn undertook community awareness and induced behavioural change campaigns at village level. Awareness messages included RVF spreading modes, what to do and what not to do in the event of an outbreak, how livestock keepers, veterinary and paraprofessionals can avoid being infected, why to avoid eating non-inspected raw or undercooked meat (especially blood and/or liver which are known to be a perfect host for the RVF virus). With the surveillance system put in place through this project the Government and FAO were able to identify positive sample sites through geo-referenced data. Steps have been taken to store this data in Trans-boundary Animal Diseases (TAD) information network. Reports of RVF have been submitted to the Office for International Epizootics (OIE) and are available through the World Animal Health Information System (WAHIS). These include one immediate notification report and five follow-up reports. By knowing exactly the location of RVF infected areas for the year 2007 and the factors that led to its occurrence, Government is now in a better position to limit the spread of future outbreaks which in Tanzania seem to take place over an eight to ten year cycle. Veterinary staffs are now well equipped in surveillance methods, laboratory procedures as well as clinical diagnostic techniques. The Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) is now in a position to continue with routine surveillance while the Epidemiology Unit will update the risk map accordingly and disseminate the information to relevant stakeholders when relevant. The CERF funding has assisted diagnostic laboratories to carry out RVF IgG/IgM antibody detection using the Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) technology. The wide array of laboratory equipment and reagents supplied by FAO through the project has enabled VICs to quickly diagnose fatal diseases and therefore report their occurrences to the relevant authorities in a very short time hence helping for control measures to be put in place in the shortest time possible. The CERF project has also assisted the Central Veterinary Laboratory (CVL) to validate or confirm results from VICs much faster than before as well as being able to do virus isolation as opposed to the past where all samples were sent abroad for diagnosis and often results received too late to carry out any meaningful interventions. UNICEF UNICEF, in close collaboration with the Ministry of Livestock Development (MoLD), the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW) and the Prime Minister s Office, carried out RVF awareness raising activities in 29 districts affected by the outbreak in Tanzania. These included Arumeru, Babati, Bahi, Chamwino, Chunya, Dodoma Municipal, Hanang, Iringa, Karatu, Kilolo, Kilosa, Korogwe, Kyela, Longido, Lushoto, Manyoni, Mbarali, Mbeya, Monduli, Moshi, Mpwapwa, Mufindi, Mvomero, Ngorongoro, Njombe, Nkinga, Same, Siha and Simanjiro. Under the overall awareness-raising umbrella, activities implemented can be subdivided into the following categories. Campaign for the general public With a view to increasing general public s awareness on knowledge of RVF and measures to guard against being exposed and thus contain the epidemic, a total of 1.2 million posters and one million leaflets were designed, printed and distributed in the target districts. These efforts were complemented by the production and airing of TV episodes and promotional spots and radio programmes and spots. A two-day information-sharing session was organised specifically for 25 mass media personnel from ten media houses in Dar-es-Salaam. These included Tanzania Standard Newspapers, Tanzania Broadcasting Services, IPP Media, Star TV, Habari Cooperation, Mwananchi, Uhuru Publications, Business Times and Tanzania Information Services. Campaign for specific groups In recognition of the fact that research has demonstrated that some groups are more vulnerable to being exposed to RVF, targeted campaigns were carried out over the implementation period. These included two behaviour change training sessions for NGO and UN humanitarian staff working within the refugee 5 programme in North-Western Tanzania and supporting sensitisation meetings on RVF in the refugee camps namely, Mtabila, Lugufu, Nyarugusu, Lukole, Kanembwa and Nduta. Furthermore, the Ministry of Livestock Development and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare organised a two-day emergency RVF public awareness event in Dodoma for 160 key medical and veterinary staff, food inspectors and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the district levels with a goal of providing them with the information and skills necessary to undertake community awareness at the village levels in the target districts. The village-level sensitisations targeting special at-risk groups such as livestock keepers and traders and were led by Local Government Authorities, local NGOs, and community leaders and covered all the planned 29 districts. In order to facilitate the undertaking of mass awareness campaigns across the districts, UNICEF procured public address systems. Overall intervention results, confirmed by the consultant recruited for monitoring purposes, indicate that the awareness-raising materials, both printed and audio-visual were produced and distributed in a timely fashion leading to overall effectiveness of the mass campaigns. The trainings and sensitisation meetings targeting various stakeholders were also deemed to have been a successful way to create awareness and foster behaviour change and ultimately to contain the epidemic. The fact that no further RVF cases were recorded since June 2007 demonstrates the degree of success of the project. WHO Prior to the implementation of the project, WHO had taken the lead in the technical support to the MoHSW and the Regions affected. The following activities were carried out: Case investigations and support to get laboratory results quickly; Getting the formal declaration of outbreak from the MoHSW in compliance with International Health Regulations; Issuance of a technical information note on the disease to UN agencies, Diplomatic missions and MoHSW; Issuance of regular situation reports on the human cases; Deployment of technical experts to assess the situation and make recommendations for improved surveillance and response. The project has achieved the following: Assessment of RVF effects in Arusha, Manyara and Dodoma Regions; Holding of planning meeting for Rift Valley Fever Response which was attended by officials from the MoHSW at national and regional level and WHO staff in Dar es Salaam from 30 th to 31 st August. The same meeting came up with a final list of items to be procured in order to strengthen the investigation and response capacity. The remaining amount of $236,723 was used to acquire a list of items which was procured through AFRO and HQ Supplies Offices. The list of items and the request letter and support documents to the Regional Director are attached herewith The RVF outbreak was controlled by June Programme monitoring In order to ensure the success of the UNICEF-supported emergency response intervention, a monitoring consultant was recruited for a period of one month between July and August 2007 to monitor the implementation and funds utilisation of the RVF awareness raising and behaviour change activities and provide feedback and lessons learnt to be applied for similar activities in future. The consultant undertook monitoring visits to 50 percent of the 29 targeted campaign districts and had consultations with key officials from the MoLD involved with RVF activities. At district level, the consultant also interviewed the District Executive Officers (DEDs), District Veterinary Officers (DVOs), District Medical Officers, (DMOs), and District Agriculture and Livestock Development Officers (DALDOs) in addition to community leaders and NGO staff. Constant monitoring of the project was carried out by FAO in partnership with relevant Government authorities in order to ensure that the execution of the project was done as planned and that all equipments purchased were delivered, installed and in good working order. Supervision visits were made 6 to VIC Arusha, Tabora, Mpwapwa and Iringa in addition to examining progress reports, identifying deficiencies and tasking officers in charge of the surveillance exercise to rectify situations when necessary. Shortfalls were determined for each of the VICs in order to establish precisely what additional requirements exist for each of them in case additional funding would be made available now and for potential new outbreaks in the future. Details of the work carried out by MoLD through this project were presented to the Tanzania Veterinary Association Scientific Conference from 27 to 29 November The report is available on request directly from MoLD. An external evaluation of the project is currently underway. In addition, FAO has used other donor fund to carry out a Socio-Economic Impact Assessment on RVF Outbreak in Tanzania. IV. Lessons learned Overall coordination between partners was good as the UN had just completed its Avian Influenza preparedness exercises and the formed committee worked well. The Government of Tanzania is hesitant to declare an outbreak in an emergency and this should be taken into a consideration with potential future outbreaks. With close collaboration, the mass media became an effective tool to send messages. Many of the items that may be required in outbreak response or services are not available or in stock. This situation needs to be improved urgently. The time between the approval of CERF funds and the actual release of CERF funds took three weeks, a long time in an emergency situation. When funds were
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