Cholera outbreak kills 50 in Somalia in 2 years: UN

MOGADISHU, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) — An outbreak of cholera/acute watery diarrhea (AWD) in Somalia has killed 50 people since the beginning of the current one in December 2017, a UN health agency said on Wednesday.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in its latest report on the AWD/cholera outbreak that the health ministry has also announced 107 new cases of cholera from Dec. 30, 2019 to Jan. 5, with no deaths reported in the period.

“The cumulative total number of suspected cholera cases since the beginning of this outbreak is 9,968, including 50 associated deaths. So far in 2020, the active transmission has only been reported from Banadir region,” WHO said in its latest report.

The current cholera outbreak started in December 2017 following floods that affected districts in the basins of Jubba and Shabelle rivers.

According to WHO, the active transmission is still reported in Banadir where the most affected districts are Darkenley, Deynile, Hodan and Madina.

“The overall reduction in the number of new cholera cases as compared to the numbers at the beginning of the outbreak is attributed to improved implementation of preventive interventions including oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaigns and the strengthening water, sanitation and hygiene activities in hot spots,” said the UN agency.

The health ministry and WHO in June 2019 implemented an OCV campaign in six districts that are at high risk of cholera.

The UN health agency has called for robust investments in Somalia’s fragile health care infrastructure as a means to accelerate the country’s reconstruction after two and a half decades of civil strife.