AMREF – Responding to crisis: Lessons from Kenya’s silent emergency

Responding to crisis: Lessons from Kenya’s silent emergency


AMREF’s Deputy-Director General, Dr Florence Muli-Musiime has warned that emergency institutions, both local and international, risk misdirecting their humanitarian crisis response if they are not sensitive to community dynamics that are not always visible in times of upheaval. In a powerful message to hundreds of delegates at the 35th Global Health Council Conference taking place in Washington DC, Dr Muli-Musiime described a ‘silent emergency’ that nobody spoke about following the post-election violence in Kenya, whose implications for healing and recovery has more serious implications for post-conflict health and social development than the more widely publicised plight of internally displaced people in the country.

‘When the crisis broke out,’ she said, ‘the focus of the health system was to mitigate the physical injuries, while that of the donor community and emergency institutions was on the Internally Displaced People. But we realised that there was a silent emergency which none of the two groups was looking at – that of thousands of people who were caught up in their own homes, unable to go to IDP camps because they would have had to go through hostile territory to get there, and unable to access health or any other basic services. To make matters worse, they were physically assaulted and sexually abused in their own homes.’

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Cholera in Nyanza: Kenya Red Cross intervenes

Cholera in Nyanza: Kenya Red Cross intervenes


Nairobi, 29th April 2008 – Nyanza region has had cholera outbreaks since last year where the first case was confirmed in Suba on 2nd December 2007. The outbreaks have been reported in 10 districts. The affected districts are Nyando, Homabay, Suba, Migori, Rongo, Bondo, Kisumu East and West, South Kisii and Bunyala Districts.

The Ministry of Health has been working with partners in the region to curb the spread of and control cholera in the region. Partners working closely with the MOH in cholera interventions are the Kenya Red Cross, Care Kenya, UNICEF, World Vision and MSF, among others.

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