Posts

facts about sanitation in ChadChad is a country highly dependent on agriculture with two-thirds of the population employed in such a capacity. For agriculture to thrive, water must be plentiful. However, for Chad, ensuring access to adequate water supplies has and continues to be a challenge. Additionally, the citizenry at large suffers from a lack of sanitized water, which increases the danger of disease transmission. Here are 6 facts about sanitation and access to water in Chad.

6 Facts About Sanitation in Chad

  1. Basic water services: In 2019, 61% of Chad’s population lacked access to basic water services. Many had to obtain drinking water from an improved source like a well or piped water.
  2. Open defecation: 69% of Chad’s population practices open defecation, a result of Chad being the country with the largest percentage of its population without access to a toilet. Among the poorest Chadians, access to toilets improved by 7% between 2000 and 2017. However, 88% of them still practice open defecation.
  3. Hand washing: Chad is one of 19 countries where more than 50% of the population does not have a handwashing facility. Additionally, 76% of Chad’s people have no handwashing facility in their home. This is especially salient today since the World Health Organization recommends hand hygiene as “the most effective single measure to reduce the spread of infections”.
  4. Lake Chad: This body of water borders Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad and supports the existence of 30 million people. This economically important source of water, however, has shrunk by 90% since the 1960s. For communities reliant on fishing, farming and herding, a diminishing Lake Chad translates into resource constraints and sometimes conflict.
  5. Refugee crisis: Conflict caused by Boko Haram and other insurgent groups in the region has displaced thousands of Chadians and others. For example, in Kobiteye, a refugee camp bordering the Central African Republic, 24,000 refugees live without adequate access to water.
  6. Lethality: The inability to consume clean water is costly, taking the lives of thousands in Chad. A U.N. report found children under five in conflict-affected states were “more than 20 times more likely to die” from unsafe water or lack of sanitation than from the conflict itself.

Solutions

In response to Chad’s water crisis, some organizations and governments have stepped up assistance. In 2019, World Vision Chad redirected 70% of its funding to providing safe water access. They reached 18,000 displaced refugees with 45 boreholes. A few years ago, USAID dug 113 wells that reached 35,000 people since 2008.

Other organizations are focusing on leveraging technology to improve water access. Chad’s Ministry of Water and Sanitation and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation partnered to fund the ResEau project, a 10-year 3D mapping initiative designed to improve borehole drilling. Before ResEau began, boreholes successfully reached water 30 to 40% of the time. Now, boreholes successfully reach water over 60 percent of the time.

Additionally, ResEau also contributed to creating a master’s degree program in Hydrology and GIS at the University of N’Djamena in Chad. This program has benefited more than 100 students so far, many of whom work for Chad’s Ministry of Water and Sanitation. Leapfrog, the 3D technology company that ResEau used for its geological modeling, stated that the project “will enrich the livelihood of all those who live in Chad, by providing the skills and knowledge needed for a robust integrated water management system”. Steps like these represent successes that individual donors and donor governments need to build upon.

– Jonathan Helton 
Photo: Flickr

Ten Facts About Life Expectancy in the Central African Republic
The Central African Republic is home to around 4.8 million people. Due to its civil unrest, this country also has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world and is in a state of crisis. Here are the top 10 facts about the life expectancy in the Central African Republic that reflect the current quality of life, as well as the steps set for future improvement.

Ten Facts About Life Expectancy in the Central African Republic

1. As of 2018, the average life expectancy in the Central African Republic is 53 years, which gives it a ranking of 217 out of 224 countries. The average male life expectancy is 51.7 years, while the average female life expectancy female is slightly higher at 54.4 years.

2. After winning independence from France in 1960, the Central African Republic suffered decades of political instability. In early 2018, more than 18,000 citizens of the Central African Republic fled fighting in their homeland to take refuge in neighboring Chad. The violence and displacement of these people are some of the main causes of the low life expectancy. As of 2016, more than half of the population was in need of food and the violence had killed thousands. The fighting also forced Muslims to flee their homes in the Christian-majority country.

3. Although the average life expectancy seems despairingly low, the Central African Republic has made improvements in its overall health over the past few years. After the persistent military crisis, the country’s overall life expectancy dropped to a low of 43 years in 2007. Luckily, after President Francois Bozize signed peace pacts with two rebel groups, the Central African Republic was able to tackle more of its own political, economic and social conditions, contributing to a dramatic rise in life expectancy.

4. The leading causes of death in the Central African Republic include HIV/AIDS, influenza, pneumonia and diarrheal diseases. According to the World Health Organization, HIV/AIDS deaths in the Central African Republic account for 13 percent of total deaths in the country. Influenza and pneumonia deaths make up 11 percent of deaths while diarrheal diseases account for around eight percent of deaths.

5. The life expectancy does not account for the fact that an estimated 14.4 percent of the average life is spent in poor health. While diseases account for a high proportion of deaths, poor nutrition is one of the main causes of early decline. Years of conflict have reduced the mobility of populations, which in turn has hindered people’s ability to grow crops, buy food and access health care. “Most of the people live on less than $1 a day. There is little food. Even cassava, the most basic foodstuff in the local diet, is often scarce”, said Dr. Deus Bazira from the World Health Organization. Pregnant women and children are often the most vulnerable individuals and are most susceptible to malnutrition.

6. Throughout the country, there is currently an extreme water and hygiene crisis. Sixty-eight percent of the rural population lacks access to clean and safe water, which increases the risk of diarrheal diseases and otherwise preventable water-borne diseases.

7. Areas outside of Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, have limited health care. Much of the population faces poorly equipped and understaffed clinics in the countryside. Bangui itself has only one major hospital, which is limited in care. The distribution of medicine is also difficult due to the lack of transportation.

8. Since 2016, the country is working to improve its overall health with a new trajectory under the leadership of the government. The Central African Republic plans to improve the nutritional status of vulnerable groups, such as those with disabilities, children, pregnant women and malnourished patients. “This new commitment to improving the health and nutrition of the poorest and most vulnerable will help ease the poverty that stymies the Central African Republic’s growth and unlock its economic potential,” said Mariam Claeson, Director of the Global Financing Facility.

9. On January 7, 2019, the U.N. worked with the Central African Republic to launch the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan. This operation requested around $430 million to provide humanitarian assistance to 1.7 million people this year, a major step in improving health conditions throughout the country.

10. Although providing humanitarian aid is difficult due to security and logistical constraints, international operations and organizations are assisting the Central African Republic through its current crisis. The International Rescue Committee and The European Union’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department (ECHO) are examples of major strides to offer medical care, water and sanitation services and protection for people in high-risk areas.

These 10 facts about life expectancy in the Central African Republic provide insight into the progress made and steps needed to improve the quality of life in the country. Although the state of health remains unstable, with relief agencies working to assist conflict-affected populations, the Central African Republic will hopefully continue to increase its life expectancy over the next few years.

– Malini Nayak
Photo: Flickr

Energy for GrowthEnergy for Growth Hub is a nonprofit that began last year that seeks to bring power to developing economies. The organization believes that one way to eradicate world poverty is through providing affordable access to electricity in order to increase economic development, focusing on the regions of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Energy for Growth Hub believes helping developing economies become strong will increase jobs, wealth and overall wellbeing, all of which are scarce when the economy is weak and lacking basic necessities, such as electricity.

Energy for Growth Hub’s Purpose

According to their site, Energy for Growth means “affordable reliable energy” to power all manner of businesses. The lack of energy in developing countries holds back the inhabitants from prosperity. It’s difficult for an economy to prosper when a hospital or school can’t be powered in order to use its equipment because it doesn’t have access to electricity.

It’s hard for those in first world countries to imagine a country where less than fifty percent of a population has access to electricity. In Chad, for example, fewer than 10 percent of residents in the sub-Saharan country had access to electricity in 2016. Chad is one area in sub-Saharan Africa that would be positively affected by widespread electricity.

Todd Moss, Executive Director of Energy for Growth and previous the chief operating officer at the Center for Global Development, believes the future of countries like Chad is tied to widespread electricity and not just electricity for use in households but also for businesses, farms, hospitals and schools.

Energy and Jobs

Job creation is just one positive result of powering a country that lacks affordable and widespread electricity. The nonprofit states that energy is the foundation with which modern economies thrive. Without electricity, there wouldn’t be power in homes, hospitals or schools. There wouldn’t be computers or medical equipment or even phone lines in order to call for emergencies. Vehicles would be sparse, as many gas-powered vehicles depend on a functioning battery to operate.

Batteries also power public transportation and improve agricultural practices, such as utilizing a basic farm tractor or timed irrigation equipment. The nonprofit believes all industries and energy sectors require or can benefit from electricity. In each of those industries, there are possibilities of employment. Power is the foundation of development.

Grid Modernization

Without a functional electrical grid, it would be difficult for a developing country to thrive. Energy for Growth Hub is interested in both off-grid and on-grid living. The nonprofit’s main focus is not on household energy, as most nonprofits. It focuses on reliability, cost, large-scale energy operations and working with the available resources of each country, such as untapped coal. Though the nonprofit believes sustainability is a wiser choice long-term, Energy for Growth Hub understands some countries could utilize cheaper solutions rather than the cleaner and more expensive counterparts, such as wind and solar power.

Focusing on households leads to small solutions, whereas a large-scale approach has a spillover effect since the grid will also move towards households. A strong economy, at its most basic level, has some form of an electrical grid. An affordable grid that is used not only for urban but also rural residents leads to further development and reduced poverty. This is another important goal for the organization.

In 1990, only 16 percent of residents in sub-Saharan Africa had access to electricity. In 2016, the number had increased to 42 percent. The Rockefeller Foundation, Chevron, General Electric, Pritzker Innovation Fund and others have funded Energy for Growth Hub and believe in its vision of helping “developing countries achieve the high-energy future they need to become prosperous and economically competitive.”

Lucas Schmidt

Photo: Flickr

Credit Access in Chad
Located in Central Africa, Chad is a landlocked country with a population of approximately 12 million people. While the national poverty fell from 54.8% in 2002 to 46.7% in 2011, Chad remains 186th out of 188 countries on the United Nations Human Development Index. Credit access in Chad stands out as one of the leading impediments to economic growth.

Financial Institutions in Chad

Chad’s financial depth is among the lowest in Africa. According to the World Bank’s Global Financial Development Database (GFDD, 2016), financial system deposits of commercial banks and other financial institutions made up 6.8% of GDP in 2014 in Chad, three times lower than the sub-Saharan African median of 24.6%, and the lowest in the sub-region that year.

Likewise, the ratios of private credit to GDP and deposit money banks’ assets to GDP were less than a half of the median in sub-Saharan Africa in 2014, coming at 6.6% and 8.1% respectively.

The role credit has in the growth of developing countries’ economies cannot be overstated. Increased credit access in Chad is essential for allowing farmers, businesses, and consumers across Chad to utilize investment capital and thus help expand economic activity.

Credit Access in Chad

There has been a marked decline in financial and credit access in Chad between 2011 and 2014, according to Global Findex Data. During that period, the proportion of adults with an account at a bank declined from 9% to 7.7%. In comparison, the average proportion of adults with an account at a financial institution in sub-Saharan Africa increased from 23.9% to 28.9%.

Borrowings and savings in Chad experienced a similar trend. Between 2011 and 2014, the number of adults who borrowed money from a bank declined from 6.2% to 2.4%, while the proportion of those who saved declined from 6.8% to 4.6%.

In order for people living in Chad to grow businesses, buy homes or purchase goods, the imperative is that they have access to financial institutions so that they can borrow and save money from those institutions. Credit is essential for building capital and achieving economic growth.

Progress is Being Made

While these statistics might suggest a rather grim financial situation, there is some progress that indicates an improvement of credit access in Chad for its citizens. IMF Financial Access Survey Data report from 2015 notes an increase in ATMs from 30 in 2011 to 64 in 2014. Borrowers at commercial banks have increased from 2.8 to 8.8 per 1000 adults. While these gains are modest and fall short of the sub-Saharan Africa average, they present a glimpse of hope for a country plagued by inaccessible credit and financial institutions.

As mobile banking proliferates throughout Chad’s financial sector, it offers increased access to credit. A Luxembourg based telecommunication firm, Tigo, and Airtel Money, an Indian telecommunications firm have helped facilitate the transition to mobile banking in Chad. They offer services that allow users to pay bills, conduct money transfers, and make everyday purchases. As of 2013, there are 50,000 Tigo Cash users and 53,000 Airtel Money users in Chad.

In addition, a recent U.N. initiative, the Chad Local Development and Inclusive Finance Program, works to promote access to financial institutions and foster sustainable development. The program aims to create 20 multifunctional centers for financial services and 20,000 micro-enterprises. These enterprises will help create jobs for at least 500,000 households.

While Chad’s financial woes are far from over, the proliferation of mobile banking and microfinance across the country have allowed more people to gain access to credit.

– McAfee Sheehan
Photo: Flickr

lowest life expectancy in the world
Out of the established 224 countries on the earth, these are the bottom five with the lowest life expectancy in the world. The countries listed below range from an average lifespan of 52.1 years to 50.6 years old.

Five Countries with the Lowest Life Expectancy in the World

  1. Swaziland
    Swaziland has the fifth-lowest life expectancy in the world at an average of 52.1 years. Swaziland is the only country on this list with men living, on average, longer than women. As of 2016, the top two reasons for deaths were HIV/AIDS and lower respiratory infections.However, Swaziland is one of the countries receiving help from USAID. One of the top priorities of USAID is fighting against HIV/AIDS by preventing sexual transmission, increasing the prevalence of male circumcision, improving institutions and training, lessening the impact of HIV/AIDS and decentralizing care and treatment. With USAID’s continued assistance and its partnerships within the African nation, there is a chance that the average lifespan in Swaziland can increase above 52.1 years.
  1. Gabon
    With an average lifespan of 52.1 years, Gabon is ranked number four for the lowest life expectancy in the world. Despite being rated so low, Gabon has a robust oil-dependent economy, making it a middle-income country.Due to this income status, it is ineligible for relief programs such as Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. This ineligibility may be why HIV/AIDS and heart disease are the top two reasons for death in the country, contributing to the low life expectancy.
  1. Afghanistan
    The only country not in Africa, Afghanistan is ranked at number three with an average lifespan of 51.7 years. This ranking may increase over time through help from USAID.In Afghanistan, USAID is working to promote health and education, both critical factors in raising life expectancies. USAID and its partners are making substantial strides to improve the healthcare for Afghans. For example, in 2016, the organization began a project to help reduce malnutrition and increase access to safe water and sanitation.USAID is also working toward making essential health services available and improving the quality and quantity of medicines. These resources, once available to Afghans, grant the nation a high potential to no longer be one of the countries with the lowest life expectancy in the world.
  1. Guinea-Bissau
    The second-to-last country with the lowest life expectancy in the world is Guinea-Bissau, averaging about 51 years of life. Aid for Africa is working in Guinea-Bissau with programs that help improve health and education, create businesses and protect wildlife.Another program through Aid for Africa, called Tostan, works by using local languages and traditions to promote democracy, problem-solving, human rights, hygiene and health. Through this program, successful countries have become more prosperous as well as healthier. With the continued implementation of programs such as these, Guinea-Bissau could improve its quantity of life.
  1. Chad
    Chad has the lowest life expectancy in the world at an average lifespan of 50.6 years. The life expectancy in this nation is so low because it has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality and high infant mortality as well.USAID has several programs to help those living in Chad. USAID and the U.N. World Food Programme are working together to distribute food and make sure access to food is readily available all over the country.Starting in 2018, programs such as In-Kind Food Aid, Local and Regional Food Procurement, Cash Transfers for Food and Food Vouchers all will be funded to help citizens. With these various programs helping improve health and nutrition, sources are working with Chad to increase the average lifespan.

World life expectancy continues to increase on the whole, but these five countries are still lagging behind. In order to increase the longevity and potential of their citizens’ lives, they will require targeted aid and a focus on infrastructure and healthcare.

– Amber Duffus

Photo: Flickr

Infrastructure in Chad

Infrastructure encompasses many things, including roads, electricity and water systems. The infrastructure in Chad has been lacking, which affects its citizens’ daily lives. However, many groups are lending a helping hand to Chad so the lives of its citizens can improve.

Problems with infrastructure in Chad can be attributed to the civil war and poor management by the central government. The decades-long civil war damaged many of the country’s roads, and the remaining roads are made of dirt and are often at risk of eroding. The distributors of power and water are often corrupt and demand an excessive amount of money for their services. Although water and electricity are available in the capital, they are expensive and not available to most of the population in rural Chad.

Due to its many problems, the quality of infrastructure in Chad is ranked 143rd out of 148 countries in the world.

One of the most important things that good infrastructure helps with is the maintenance of water. A strong water infrastructure means that people do not have to wonder whether or not their drinking water is contaminated. Unfortunately, Chadians must worry if their water is safe to drink. People in rural Chad have to rely on traditional water wells as their main water resource. Unfortunately, these wells are susceptible to surface contamination. Bacteria and disease can propagate in the wells.

Although Chad is having problems with its infrastructure, there are people who are willing to help. Spirit of America is a group of American troops who help people in impoverished nations improve their lives. These troops have gone to Chad and built water pumps in key towns and cities. Prior to the troops arriving, these towns and cities did not have any running water.

The immediate effect of building water pumps is a safe water source for the town. If a town has a clean and safe water source, its quality of life will improve and the occurrence of disease will decrease.

Another effect of building water pumps is that they function as a means of counterterrorism. Extremist groups often use the lack of water as a rallying call for people to join their cause. Once there is a proper water system available to people, the extremists have less backing for their cause and will not be able to recruit as many people.

Chad has had troubles with regard to infrastructure, but things are beginning to improve. With the assistance of groups such as Spirit of America, improvements in Chad’s infrastructure can have a positive impact on its citizens.

– Daniel Borjas

Photo: Flickr

Women's Empowerment in ChadLike in a lot of the countries in Africa, women’s empowerment in Chad is lacking immensely. Lack of freedom, child marriage, violence and mutilation are a few of the issues women must face in Chad.

A tradition that resides in many countries in Africa, in different tribes and families, is female genital mutilation(FGM), an act that young girls must go through as a rite of passage into womanhood. One type of practice is confined to the eastern parts of the country nearing Sudan, but FGM crosses ethnic and religious lines and is performed by Christians and Muslims all over Chad.

There is an estimate that 60 percent of the women in Chad have undergone the procedure and that it is even more prevalent in rural parts of the country. There is no law that makes these practices a crime, but the act is prosecutable as an involuntary physical assault against a minor. A new law, drafted in 2001, would specifically criminalize the practice of FGM.

Child marriage is extremely common in Chad and is the main reason why young girls have to leave school early. Over two-thirds of young girls will have been married before the age of 18. To add, it is a norm in the country for many of the men to have more than one wife and large extended families of wives and children. There are organizations that are trying to raise awareness about the higher health risks for young girls when they become pregnant and are also trying to encourage them to stay in school.

In Chad, there is inequality between the genders in three different dimensions. The different dimensions being reproductive health, empowerment and labor market participation. Reproductive health refers to maternal ration and adolescent birthright. Empowerment refers to the share of parliamentary seats held by women and the share of the population, who are women, with at least some secondary education.

With inequality of genders comes violence. Around 18 percent of women in Chad who have been in a relationship, ranging from ages 15 to 49, have had a partner commit some type of physical or sexual violence act against them at least once in their lifetime. Women in Chad are citizens who have full voting rights but lack the knowledge about certain rights including their right to protection from gender-based violence. Many women are unaware that rape is a crime and see it as just an indecency. Without more knowledge on rights, women’s empowerment in Chad is stifled.

To bring back women’s empowerment in Chad, organizations like UNICEF are uplifting women by informing them about their rights. They are confronting violence and consolidating peace in Chad. The women of Chad are protesting against the violence against them but they still need support while they continue to deal with the gender-based violence and abuse in their country.

– Chavez Spicer

Photo: Flickr

Why is Chad PoorChad is a landlocked nation within Africa and one of the world’s poorest countries. As 87 percent of the rural population lives below the poverty line, many raise the question, “Why is Chad poor?” While the answer is multidimensional, the following are three major reasons for poverty in Chad.

1. Climatic Variations
As Chad’s climatic conditions can change drastically from droughts to torrential rains and flooding, the nation lacks reliable production of harvests, which is the main answer to the question, “Why is Chad poor?” Because the amount of rainfall varies drastically from one year to the next, harvests of staple foods such as millet and maize are often put in jeopardy. When a period of drought lasting over a year is followed by heavy rains that bring floods and destroy crops, food insecurity becomes a consistent threat and ongoing problem. According to the World Food Programme, Chad ranks 73rd out of 78 countries on the Global Hunger Index.

2. Poor Public Services
While there are a few hospitals and health centers within the country, the facilities within them are poor and understaffed. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were only 345 doctors working in the country between 2000 and 2010, which equates to just 0.4 physicians for every 10,000 people. Along with a lack of access to proper healthcare, underdeveloped infrastructure and limited human resources serve as major obstacles towards the education of those within Chad, as only one-third of adults are literate and just two-thirds of youths are enrolled in basic schooling.

3. Economic Misfortune
Another critical area in need of assessing in order to answer the question “Why is Chad poor?” is the recent oil crisis. Since joining the list of oil-producing countries in 2003, Chad’s economy has been heavily dependent on oil. With the plunge in oil prices in 2014, the nation has faced a continuing recession, leading to projected cuts in public services as well as an expected rise in poverty.

While the question “Why is Chad poor?” may seem too complicated to determine, reducing poverty within the nation, as well as globally, is a highly achievable task. Through the assistance of foreign aid, developing nations are able to increase the accessibility of productive public services, and for Chad, this would mean a major increase in the amount of citizens able to experience the empowerment of an education and good health in their future.

Kendra Richardson

Photo: Flickr

Human Rights in ChadThe Republic of Chad is a nation located in Central Africa, and is home to about 11.8 million people. The nation has endured a difficult past, which includes three decades of civil war from the time it stopped being part of the French African holdings in 1960. Today, Chad is a presidential republic with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. Despite progress made, one weakness that this government has shown is an inability to protect human rights in Chad.

According to the 2015 United States Department of State’s Human Rights Practices report on Chad, there are three human rights problems that stand out above the rest: security force abuse, harsh prison conditions and discrimination and violence against women and children.

Protecting people from physical danger is an integral part of human rights protection, but Chad has largely failed in this area. According to reports, the government or its agencies have committed illegitimate killings, including by torture. A tragic example of this occurred in the fall of 2014, when protests against a variety of issues, including increased fuel prices, was met with live fire from police. According to Freedom House, a self-described “watchdog organization” that aims to spread freedom and democracy around the globe, between three and five protestors were killed. Unfortunately, an end to events like these may not come anytime soon due to a lack of accountability. The Department of State’s report found that Chad’s government rarely punishes those who commit abuses.

There are 45 prisons in Chad. Unfortunately, the conditions in these prisons are absolutely reprehensible. Finding oneself in one of these prisons can be potentially life-threatening due to a number of reasons, including inadequate food storage and deleterious sanitary conditions.

Human rights in Chad must be protected equally among all people, but this is unfortunately not always the case. Women, for instance, widely report instances of domestic violence. While this is technically against the law, police have seldom been helpful and women have few legal options. One can only hope that Chad will take steps to improve its protection of human rights, so that its citizens can one day enjoy a higher quality of life.

Adam Braunstein

Photo: Flickr

Diseases in Chad

The degree of the risk to get infectious diseases in Chad, the biggest landlocked country on the African continent, is critically high. Typhoid, cholera, malaria and hepatitis E tend to become more widespread in the rainy season.

Chad’s population continuously grows due to the country’s high fertility rate and a large youth cohort. More than 65% of the populace is under the age of 25, although the mortality rate is high and life expectancy is low. Diseases in Chad caused the world’s third-highest maternal mortality rate. According to UNICEF, 33% of children between 12-23 months are not vaccinated against childhood diseases.

Among blood or waterborne diseases in Chad, the most concerning are bacterial and protozoal diarrhea, hepatitis A and E and typhoid fever. Vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, water contact disease schistosomiasis, respiratory disease meningococcal meningitis and some of the animal contact diseases including rabies had a large outbreak in 2016 and are also among the most threatening. In the past decade, Chad has faced epidemics of meningitis, measles and cholera with increasing severity.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) identified the first hepatitis E cases and treated 885 patients with Acute Jaundice Symptoms (AJS), with numbers increasing to an average of around 60 new cases a week. AJS commonly causes the yellowing of the skin and eyes, which can indicate if a person has hepatitis E. In total, 45% of cases tested positive for hepatitis E. Since September 2016, 11 have died, including four pregnant women among hospitalized individuals, but the fatality rate could be underestimated. Nearly 90% of the AJS cases were reported from Am Timan which appears to be the epicenter of the outbreak.

The government of Chad officially declared a cholera epidemic on August 30, 2010. In January 2011, the number of cases started to increase again and during September, 4,410 cases and 83 deaths were reported. The high mortality rate appeared due to the weakness of the monitoring system, the lack of appropriate health strategies and of access to health services for patients and the poor quality of existing health services.

As with some other diseases in Chad, cholera appears during the rainy season in the regions surrounding the Lac Chad. In 2014, 172 cases of cholera were notified in the regions of Lac, Mayo Kebbi and N’Djamena. In 2016, no cases were notified. Given the low levels of access to a sustainable water source (only 52% of Chad’s population have access) and improved sanitation (12%), it is likely to be a continuous problem.

In 2016, more than a million cases of malaria were notified among other diseases in Chad. UNICEF and the World Health Organization have launched a distribution of bed nets, medicines, malnutrition treatment for children under five and stimulated prenatal services such as vaccination and preventive malaria treatment.

The causes of malaria are dirty water and garbage that become the nests for mosquitoes. More important, even with vaccination, is to use nets, especially covering children’s and elders’ beds, as the disease affects them the most.

Travelers to Chad should follow standard hygiene recommendations in terms of water and food safety. These should protect them against hepatitis E, as the risk of person to person transmission is very low. In order to control these epidemics and reduce morbidity and mortality rates associated with cholera, malaria, yellow fever, measles and meningitis outbreaks, UNICEF in collaboration with Chad’s government plans to launch mass vaccination of the entire population and returnees of all ages to prevent further spread of epidemic diseases in Chad.

Yana Emets
Photo: Flickr