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Central African Republic: Monkey Pox Outbreak - Dec 2015

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On 4 December 2015, two children aged 9 and 5 from a hunter family in Lengo village, 15 kilometres from Bakouma in the Mbomou Province, eastern Central African Republic (CAR), were taken to the Bakouma Health Centre suffering from an unidentified disease with rashes all over their bodies. On the 10 December 2015, in response to the outbreak in Bangassou, the WHO facilitated an initial assessment carried out by the Ministry of Health (MoH) in the affected province and a joint mission was undertaken by the health district and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Belgium. On 17 December 2015, the children were transferred to the Bangassou Regional Hospital, run by an international NGO and MSF. While at the hospital, the children’s condition got worse. Samples were taken and sent to the Pasteur Institute of Bangui for laboratory testing. On 29 December 2015, following the testing of samples and diagnosis, the Minister of Health declared a Monkey-pox outbreak and requested World Health Organization (WHO)’s support in carrying out further analysis and immediate response. (IFRC, 19 Feb 2016)

UNICEF also continued monitoring the monkey pox outbreak in Bangassou district. To date, 17 cases have been reported with three deaths. The results of the last three suspected cases of monkey pox reported in Bakouma in March were negative. The current response include disease surveillance, case management including containment and contact tracing, and communication for development focusing on behaviour change activities. (UNICEF, 31 Mar 2016)

On 17 February 2016, IFRC released CHF 55,848 from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Central African Republic Red Cross (CARC) reduce the immediate risk of the Monkey-pox outbreak to 164,000 people (indirectly) and 64,000 people (directly), living in the Bakouma, Gambo, Ouango and Rafaï sub-prefectures of the Mbomou Province, through support social mobilization and community communication activities, for a period of two months. (IFRC, 21 Apr 2016)

At the end of the IFRC operations in April 2016, the number of cases was 13 (2 deaths). Assistance reached 164,000 people indirectly and 64,000 people directly. (IFRC, 28 Sep 2016)