WHO ramps up response after cholera kills 30 in Somalia since January

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The World Health Organization (WHO) said it has ramped up response interventions to save lives and prevent cholera transmission in Somalia after 30 people died of the disease since January.

The WHO said Somalia has had uninterrupted cholera transmission in 28 drought-affected districts since 2022 and in the Banadir region since the drought of 2017.

“Since epidemiological week 1 of 2023, a total of 11,704 suspected cases of cholera including 30 associated deaths were reported from 28 districts of Somalia,” said the WHO in its weekly cholera update released in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

The WHO said some 235 new suspected cases with no associated death were reported in late July from the 28 drought-affected districts.

According to the WHO, the overall case fatality rate of 0.3 percent reported from the above-mentioned districts is below the emergency threshold of over 1 percent.

“WHO and health partners have scaled up implementation of cholera response interventions in drought-affected districts focusing on Jubaland state which is the current epicenter of the current outbreak,” the WHO said.

The UN warned in April that flash and riverine floods caused by heavy rains in Somalia could exacerbate outbreaks of waterborne diseases.