Somalia: Protecting Children from Cholera

Zimbabwe Cholera outbreak

There are fears that Somalia could fall into a health crisis if immediate action is not taken to curb the spread of the cholera outbreak in the country.

Development Diaries reports that nearly half of the 72 districts in the country are in danger of recording a high number of infected patients and deaths given the shortage of oral vaccine doses in the country.

We understand that limited access to safe water and proper sanitation among displaced persons is the major driver of the current cholera outbreak in the country.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), almost 4,400 cases and 54 deaths were recorded last week since the start of the year. About 60 percent of the deaths recorded were among children under the age of five.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said that the number of reported cases in Somalia is three times higher than the previous three-year average.

‘This outbreak is expected to spread further, including to areas where the disease has not been seen in years, during the coming rainy season, which is expected to be heavier than normal’, the World Health Organisation said in a recent statement.

While the United Nations and its humanitarian partners are working with Somalia’s health authorities to step up preparation and response efforts, responses should carry more urgency as the lives of millions, especially children, are at risk.

We also urge the government of Somalia to strengthen its efforts in providing access to clean water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities for its citizens to mitigate the spread of the outbreak and avoid the emergence of new outbreaks in the future.

Photo source: WHO


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