WHO Regional Office for Africa Press Release
The Ministry of Health of Mozambique informed WHO of an outbreak of dengue fever on 21 April 2014. As of 8 May 2014, the total number of cases was 243 (77 laboratory confirmed and 166 suspected) with no deaths. Cabo Delgado province, the most affected province, has reported a total of 182 cases (126 suspected and 56 laboratory confirmed). All the cases in Cabo Delgado are from Pemba’s sub-regions sharing borders with Tanzania. Nampula province reported 40 suspected cases with 21 confirmed with no deaths. Investigations are underway to determine the serotype of the dengue virus causing this outbreak. The main vector identified is the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
In response to the dengue fever outbreak, the Ministry of Health with support from WHO has developed a provisional dengue fever outbreak response plan and has established a dengue fever management center in the Pemba Hospital to coordinate response activities. Case management, training of health care workers, community mobilization to use window screens, mosquito repellents and proper removal of solid waste, cleaning up domestic and peridomestic breeding sites like cans and tires full of water are on-going. Dengue fever information, education and communication campaigns on how to prevent the disease and protect people from mosquito bites are being conducted by health staff and provincial authorities in Pemba. In addition, measures to control the vector by eliminating potential sites for mosquito breeding through application of larvicides to breeding sites continue.
The Ministry of Health of Tanzania notified WHO of a dengue fever outbreak on 21 April 2014. As of 14 May, a total of 757 cases with 460 confirmed have been reported including 3 deaths from Dar es Salaam, Kinondoni, Temeke and Kibaha districts.
The Ministry of Health with support from WHO is implementing a series of preventive and control measures to address the outbreak. These include development of a dengue fever outbreak response plan with a budget totaling USD 345,240, enhancement of surveillance; testing of samples using rapid diagnostic kits; training of health care workers on dengue management and increased public awareness. The government issued a press statement on dengue fever outbreak situation in the country on 12 May 2014.
WHO in collaboration with other partners has provided advice to extend the response all Coastal belt Regions from Tanga to Mtwara in particular, areas bordering Mozambique. WHO is supporting the coordination and risk assessment of the outbreak and the response, focusing on advocacy and awareness campaigns and the training of health care workers, including laboratory staff and clinicians. WHO has also procured laboratory supplies for the MOH to strengthen disease surveillance, diagnosis and case management. Support is also being provided in integrated vector control activities.
WHO does not recommend that any travel or trade restrictions be applied to Mozambique and Tanzania based on the current information available for this event.