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UN ramps up efforts to tackle cholera in Somalia as death toll rises to 120

Monday May 20, 2024

The United Nations humanitarian agency said on Sunday that it has stepped up its response to tackle the cholera outbreak in Somalia as the death toll has increased to 120 since January.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said a total of 10,647 new cases of cholera have been reported in seven states, representing a case fatality rate of 1.1 percent.

"Additional funds are required to urgently meet the needs of the affected people," the OCHA said in its report released in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

The OCHA said the heavy rains pounding the country are expected to worsen the current outbreak of acute watery diarrhea (AWD)/cholera, which is already significantly high in some hotspot locations. It said the case fatality rate is slightly above the World Health Organization (WHO) emergency threshold of less than or equal to 1 percent.

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

Somalia has had uninterrupted AWD/cholera transmission since 2022 and in the Banadir region since the 2017 drought, according to the WHO.

In 2023, more than 18,304 cumulative cases and 46 deaths were reported in Somalia, more than half of which were children under the age of five.


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