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Benin: Cholera Epidemic DREF operation n° MDRBJ010 Update n° 1

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GLIDE n° EP-2012-000186-BEN

Period covered by this update: 10 November 2012 to 31 January 2013.

Summary: CHF 112,195 was allocated from the IFRC`s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 9 November 2012, to support the National Society in delivering immediate assistance to some 25,000 people in 5,000 households.

From October 2012, the municipality of Comé in the south western part of Benin experienced a cholera epidemic, and a few cases were also identified in the neighbouring municipality of Houéyogbé. After the first cases were discovered, the Red Cross society of Benin (BRCS) initiated community-based social mobilization activities focused on epidemics awareness raising, hygiene promotion and water and sanitation activities.

To date, a total of 50 trained BRCS volunteers have implemented the project activities, so far reaching 13,542 persons with health education, cholera prevention and hygiene promotion awareness. Additionally, 17,000 persons, including students and teachers, in 50 schools, have been provided with hygiene sessions on hand washing as a way to reduce health risks, while 720 households (3,600 persons) have increased awareness on safe water treatment and storage and have been provided with water treatment tablets in order for them to access clean water.

Through the joint efforts by BRCS and Benin health authorities, the epidemic was contained and was declared to be over in December 2012. However, a few new cases were recently discovered in the town of Grand-Popo, in the neighbouring municipality of Klouékamé (Department of Kouffo) in Lanta district.BRCS has therefore initiated interventions in this municipality based on the same intervention strategy and these activities are planned to be accommodated within the current budget.