Cholera on the rise in drought affected Somali regions

Somali family

Cholera has broken out in drought and famine affected areas in Somalia the World Health Organization has confirmed.

The agency says that acute watery diarrhoea, a symptom of cholera, is on the rise in the country.

From Geneva Claire Doole reports.

In drought hit Somalia millions of people are at risk of cholera, an acute intestinal infection that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if not properly treated.

The disease can spread quickly amongst malnourished children and in areas where there is poor access to clean drinking water.

WHO expert Dr Michel Yao says the deadly disease has now reached Somalia.

"In Somalia a few cases of cholera have been confirmed but in most of the places due to the security challenges it is quite difficult to confirm".

Cholera causes watery diarrhoea, which is on the rise, particularly amongst children under five.

More than 3,800 cases have been reported in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, a significant increase on last year according to the WHO.

Across the Horn of Africa, extensive population movements are causing the spread of infectious diseases, with UN agencies reporting mass outbreaks of measles in camps in Kenya and Ethiopia.

Claire Doole United Nations

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