• Are Rapid Population Estimates Accurate? A Field Trial of Two Different Assessment Methods.

      Grais, RF; Coulombier, D; Ampuero, J; Lucas, M; Barretto, A; Jacquier, G; Diaz, F; Balandine, S; Mahoudeau, C; Brown, V; et al. (Published by Wiley-Blackwell, 2006-09)
      Emergencies resulting in large-scale displacement often lead to populations resettling in areas where basic health services and sanitation are unavailable. To plan relief-related activities quickly, rapid population size estimates are needed. The currently recommended Quadrat method estimates total population by extrapolating the average population size living in square blocks of known area to the total site surface. An alternative approach, the T-Square, provides a population estimate based on analysis of the spatial distribution of housing units taken throughout a site. We field tested both methods and validated the results against a census in Esturro Bairro, Beira, Mozambique. Compared to the census (population: 9,479), the T-Square yielded a better population estimate (9,523) than the Quadrat method (7,681; 95% confidence interval: 6,160-9,201), but was more difficult for field survey teams to implement. Although applicable only to similar sites, several general conclusions can be drawn for emergency planning.
    • Management of Cholera Epidemics in a Refugee Camp

      Brown, V; Jacquier, G; Bachy, C; Bitar, D; Legros, D; Epicentre, 8 rue Saint Sabin, 75011 Paris, France. (2002-12)
      Cholera epidemics in refugee camps represent a major public health emergency. In camps, precarious living conditions contribute to the transmission of the vibrio. Among the major epidemics reported in camps, we note as well those which have affected Africa in the last two decades. These epidemics are characterized by high attack rates and high case fatality ratios. Attack rates in refugee camps can exceed 5%. Appropriate control measures are adopted at international level. Actions carried out urgently must allow the proper supply of water, the control of excreta, and the improvement of general sanitary conditions and individual hygiene. Efficient management of cases in specialized cholera treatment centres (CTC) should decrease the case fatality ratio to less than 1%. Treatment is mainly based on the prompt rehydration of patients. For wide camps, rapid access to oral rehydration units is essential. Availability of all necessary equipment in kit form is required.