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Somalia records more deaths from cholera amid surge in cases

Saturday February 24, 2024


MOGADISHU (Xinhua) -- A total of 2,943 new cholera cases and 26 deaths have been reported in Somalia since January 2024 as cases surge following intense flooding caused by El Nino rains in late 2023, the Ministry of Heath said Saturday.

The Ministry of Health and Human Services said among these cases, 1,748 or 59 percent were classified as severe, indicating the gravity of the illness.

"Since January 2024, several districts in Somalia have been significantly affected by the cholera outbreak. The district with the highest number of reported cases is Beledweyne, accounting for 588 cases or 20 percent of total cases," the ministry said in its latest epidemiological report released in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

The ministry attributed the ongoing cholera outbreak in Somalia to a growing number of people, who lack access to safe water and proper sanitation.

In addition to the ongoing cholera outbreak in Somalia, the country experienced El Nino floods which have affected more than 2.5 million people, leading to the displacement of 1.2 million individuals from their homes and causing 118 deaths, according to the UN.

The El Nino floods have significantly impacted Somalia, causing further displacement and affecting vulnerable populations.

The ministry said plans are underway to provide oral cholera vaccines to about 480,000 people at risk in BeledWeyne, Bulo Burto, Jalalasi, and Daynille districts.

"This preventive measure aims to protect vulnerable populations and reduce the overall burden of cholera in these areas," it said.

Somalia has had uninterrupted acute watery diarrhea/cholera transmission since 2022 and in the Banadir region since the drought of 2017, according to the World Health Organization.

In 2023, more than 18,304 cumulative cases and 46 deaths were reported in Somalia, including over 10,000 children aged below five years (55 percent), it said. ■



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