Angola – Further Floods Affect Luanda, 19 Dead, 800 Families Homeless

The recent flood situation in Luanda, Angola, appears to have worsened and the latest report from the National Service for Civil Protection and Fire (SNPCB) says that at least 19 people have died, 50 injured and four are reported as missing. Figures are from preliminary damage assessments and authorities warned that these numbers could increase.

The floods come just a the World Health Organisation has confirmed that Angola is currently experiencing a major outbreak of yellow fever, a disease spread by mosquitoes. Over 230 people have died since December 2015 in Angola, with 165 of the deaths in Luanda alone.

Luanda Floods

Initial reports said that flooding had affected Cacuaco, in the north of Luanda, where 9 deaths were reported on Wednesday 20 April 2016.

Since then ANGOP, the Angola news agency, quoting SNPCB officials, say that more people have died, more than 800 families are homeless and 20 homes have collapsed.

The worst affected municipalities are Viana, Cacuaco, Belas, Cazenga and urban districts of Ingombota, Kilamba Kiaxi, Rangel and Maianga.

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Yellow Fever Outbreak Causes 238 Deaths

The World Health Organisation reports that Angola is currently suffering from one of the worst outbreaks of yellow fever in decades. The recent flooding may well create further breeding grounds for mosquitoes which spread the disease.

WHO say:

“As of 7 April 2016, a total of 1,708 suspected cases, including 238 deaths (CFR: 13.9%), had been reported from 16 of the country’s 18 provinces. Luanda remains the most affected province with 1,135 cases (405 confirmed), including 165 deaths (CFR: 14. 5%). The other most affected provinces are Huambo (266 suspected cases, 37 deaths), Huila (95 suspected cases, 16 deaths) and Benguela (51 suspected cases, 0 deaths). Between 6 and 7 April, 30 new suspected cases, including 4 deaths, were reported across the country – 19 of these suspected cases and 2 of the reported deaths came from Luanda.”

About Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected aedes and haemogogus mosquitoes. The “yellow” in the name refers to the jaundice that affects some patients. Up to 50% of severely affected persons without treatment will die from yellow fever.

According to WHO, yellow fever can be prevented through vaccination and mosquito control. The yellow fever vaccine is safe and affordable, and a single dose provides life-long immunity against the disease.

Mosquito control can also help to prevent yellow fever, and is vital in situations where vaccination coverage is low or the vaccine is not immediately available. Mosquito control includes eliminating sites where mosquitoes can breed, and killing adult mosquitoes and larvae by using insecticides in areas with high mosquito density. Community involvement through activities such as cleaning household drains and covering water containers where mosquitoes can breed is a very important and effective way to control mosquitoes.