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Cholera outbreak further spread out in Ethiopia’s Oromia, Somali regions

Wednesday February 1, 2023


The Cholera outbreak has further spread out to 66 localities of eight districts across Bale, Guji and West Arsi zones of Oromia and two districts of Liben zone of Somali region of Ethiopia, United Nations Office for the Coordination Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has said.In a report issued on Tuesday, OCHA said as of 30 January 2023, 1,055 cholera cases have been reported including 28 associated deaths. According to the Ethiopian PublicHealth Institute, close to one million people are at high-risk in the 10 affected districts. 

The caseload of the affected people has increased by 30 per cent since the beginning of January2023, OCHA said. The outbreak started in the Bale zone and has expanded in the bordering zones of West Arsi, Guji and Liben.On 27 August 2022, the first cholera case was reported in Harana Buluk district of Bale zone, Southern Oromia region of Ethiopia.

As of the reporting date, six districts (out of a total of 13 districts) of the zone have registered confirmed cases. More recently, in late December 2022, cholera cases have been reported for the first time in the bordering zoneof West Arsi, specifically in Nenesebo district.

West Arsi has become the fourth zone reporting cholera cases in the country, after Guji and Liben zones ofOromia and Somali regions respectively.

The total cholera caseload has seen an increase since the beginning of January 2023 with new daily cases
reported and new patients admitted in Goro, Nenesebo and Girja districts.

The reported deaths mostly fall with in the age range of 0 to 14 years (of which 25 percent are children under five). Out the total caseload, morethan 77 per cent have not received any doses of Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV)..

OCHA said partners are closely monitoring new outbreaks across the South West Ethiopia Region. A Zonal Rapid ResponseTeam (RRT) has been deployed in Sheko district of the Bench Sheko zone and Konta town of Konta special district following reported rumors of cases.

Samples tests are under investigation. Similarly, there are high concerns on a possible cholera outbreak escalation in Dawa zone of Somali Region due to the increasing numberof confirmed cases reported in neighboring Marsabit County, Kenya, the reported added.


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