Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
80 more Somali children die of cholera

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Somalia's cholera outbreak has claimed the lives of at least 80 more Somali children as the conflict-plagued Horn of Africa nation grapples with severe drought and famine, Press TV reports.

The malnourished children fell victim to the acute infection at the Dayniile district refugee camp in south Mogadishu in less than half a day, a Press TV correspondent reported, quoting a local physician at the camp in the Somali capital.

Meanwhile, some 445 other children with cholera symptoms have also been taken to hospital in the strife-torn Somali capital over the past 24 hours.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned on September 28 that the humanitarian situation remains "highly critical" in Somalia.

"The situation in Somalia remains highly critical. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis are still displaced from their homes in search of security and food," the ICRC said in a statement.

The Geneva-based humanitarian institution added, "Although humanitarian aid has started to reach the drought- and conflict-affected people, many are still struggling to survive."

“Much of the livestock has been decimated and there is no hope for an improvement in the situation until the next harvest in December," it added.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has recently said that four million Somalis are in crisis, with some 750,000 at risk of dying in the next four months.

The UN body added it is also feared that the rains will further raise the risk of diseases.

"The onset of rains anticipated in October could fuel the spread of cholera, measles and malaria, thereby leading to more deaths in a population already weakened by conflict and famine," the OCHA noted.

The UN agency also pointed out that food deliveries have reached some 1.85 million people as of last week. The figure is almost half of those in need.

According to the United Nations, drought, high food prices and fighting in Somalia have increased the number of those in need of humanitarian assistance across the Horn of Africa to 13.3 million.


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