WHO scales up cholera response in Somalia as death toll hits 42

Mogadishu: The World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday it’s ramping up response to prevent cholera transmission in Somalia as flash floods from heavy downpours intensify across the country.

The WHO said since January, a total of 45, 266 new suspected cases of cholera including 42 associated deaths were reported from 29 districts of Somalia, four of which are affected by floods.

“WHO and health partners have scaled up the implementation of cholera response activities in districts affected by floods resulting from the El Nino season,” the UN health agency said in its latest update on cholera in Somalia.

It said the overall case fatality rate of 0.3 percent reported from 29 districts is below the emergency threshold of 1 percent.

According to the UN health agency, the number of new cholera cases however decreased by 5 percent in all districts but cases almost doubled in Beled Hawo, a business town in the Gedo region of southern Somalia, over the past two weeks

WHO said Somalia has had uninterrupted cholera transmission in 29 drought-affected districts since 2022 and in the Banadir region since the drought of 2017.

The latest move comes after the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)’s Somalia Water and Land Information Management (FAO-SWALIM) said very light rainfall of between 2 and 5 mm is expected over the northeastern parts of Somalia in the next three days.

FAO/SWALIM also forecast that dry conditions with chances of rainfall of less than 2 mm will prevail over the rest of the region.

The UN has warned that the risk of waterborne diseases and other health hazards is likely to increase due to contamination of water sources and stagnant water due to flooding.

UNI/XINHUA

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