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Somalia, UN Step up Response as Cholera Death Toll Rises to 123

Storyline:National News

MOGADISHU, Xinhua: Somalia and the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday they have ramped up response to tackle cholera outbreak in Somalia as death toll increased to 123 since January.

The Ministry of Health and Human Services and the WHO said in a joint epidemiological report released in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, that a total of 14,389 cholera cases with a one-percent case fatality rate have since been reported this year.

The report said that there was a notable decrease in cholera cases in the second week of June compared to reported cases in the first week.

“Currently, there are four active outbreaks in the country, and they are acute watery diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera, measles, dengue fever and diphtheria,” the agency said.

Cases of AWD/cholera have risen across the country, which is attributed to limited access to potable water due to contamination of water sources that were submerged by flood water, a high level of malnutrition among children, a lack of proper sanitation, and difficulties in accessing health centers.

According to the WHO, Somalia has an ongoing cholera outbreak, which has become worse since the floods of December 2023, which destroyed sanitation facilities and caused further displacements.

The country has witnessed uninterrupted AWD/cholera transmission since 2022 and in the Banadir region since the drought of 2017, according to the WHO.

In 2023, more than 18,304 cumulative cases and 46 deaths were reported in Somalia, with over half being children aged below five years old.