Weekly Report on Activities (EHA/HAC) Duty Station Bangui / CAR Reporting Period: from 09/07/07 to 25/07/2007 HIGHLIGHTS: WHO provided technical support to improve humanitarian assistance for Sudanese refugees living in the north-eastern village of Sam Ouandja WHO is to donate ambulances and motorbikes to the MoH to strengthen the provision of emergency obstetric care and the immunization programme COOPI and MSF are to announce the redeployment of their staff and the continuation of humanitarian assistance for the population in the north-west I. GENERAL SITUATION: a) Political, social, security overview for the week Security remains fragile in the north despite the presence of international NGOs. In the north-east, access to beneficiaries is affected by the ongoing rainy season. Logistic constraints have been reported. Despite its very limited capacity the UN Humanitarian Air Service remains the best way to deploy staff and equipment in the north-east region. The presence of a group of Sudanese rebels called Tora Bora has been reported around Sam Ouandja. As the Sudanese civilians, the rebels have fled from Dafok village in western Darfur. The CNR (Conseil national des réfugiés) has asked the rebels, whose number is unknown, to disarm. b) Main events of interest/concern for health In Bria, 116 Sudanese refugees have been identified among a group of over 1000 IDPs from north-east CAR. They arrived at the same time as the 2600 refugees living in Sam Ouandja who fled Dafok village last May. These refugees have been supported by the Muslim community in Bria. The weekly report from Sam Ouandja health centre shows a deterioration of the health and nutritional status of the Sudanese refugees; a high prevalence of diarrhoeal diseases, bloody diarrhoea and malnutrition is reported. The rainy season may contribute to the increased vulnerability of the refugees. A high prevalence of acute respiratory infections and malaria cases is reported among children under five. In Sam Oundja region, the presence of three different armed groups (the government forces or FACA, the former UFDR rebel group and the Tora Bora Sudanese armed group) is reported by the CNR and confirmed during a meeting with the Ministry of Social Affairs. A peace agreement has been signed between the FACA and the UFDR. II. ANALYSIS & HEALTH CONSEQUENCES: a) Health problems & Needs of affected populations The high prevalence of diseases with epidemic potential reported among Sudanese refugees and local populations in Sam Oundja village seems alarming: during the last six weeks a weekly average of 412 consultations were conducted, of which an average of 110 were for malaria and 12 for bloody diarrhoea. The health centre is also reporting an average of 13 cases of clinical malnutrition among children under five every week. Acute respiratory tract infections account for an average of 70 cases per week. III. ACTIONS a) WHO activities & needs WHO has deployed two nurses and supports the regular provision of essential drugs and obstetric kits to the health centre in charge of both the Sudanese refugees and the local population. The WHO nurses conducted a rapid “home by home” assessment at the refugee site; the main findings identified precarious living conditions of refugees and the pollution of drinking water despite the distribution of water purification tablets supported by UNICEF. WHO is lobbying partners to support an international NGO willing to provide health care to the Sudanese refugees in Sam Ouandja camp. b) Other partners’ actions & Ongoing programmes UNICEF has supported the international NGO TRIANGLE in setting up a water and sanitation programme in Sam Ouandja. Equipment and supplies have been deployed in the camp to improve the quality of drinking water. Food and seeds distribution activities continue with the support of WFP and FAO. IMC has arrived in Sam Ouandja refugee camp to organize a nutritional survey and a rapid health assessment. The plan for a quick hand over has been discussed. MSF as well as COOPI have announced the deployment of their staff to continue humanitarian assistance in the north-western Ouham Pende region. Activities had been scaled down after the murder of a MSF volunteer and the escalating violence over the last months. V. COMMENTS: The ongoing rapid health and nutrition assessment conducted by International Medical Corps among the refugees in Sam Oundja will highlight the humanitarian condition of almost 2600 refugees. The epidemiological data colleted through the health centre over the last six weeks indicates a deterioration of the health and nutrition status of Sudanese refugees in Sam Ouandja. WHO has sent signal to alert the humanitarian community during the last UNDPT weekly meeting.