The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has issued a warning about the ongoing cholera outbreak in South-Eastern Ethiopia, as the death toll from the outbreak rises to 94. In its latest situation update, it stated that this outbreak is the longest and that it is spreading rapidly with a high risk of cross-border spread of the disease.
The UNOCHA also warned that floods have further exacerbated health risks, including cholera, in the affected parts of the East African country. The update stated that 41 cholera treatment centres and units across the affected areas were operational, and an estimated 35,850 people have received clean drinking water as of the beginning of May.
Cholera is a bacterial disease that is often spread through contaminated water or food, leading to severe diarrhoea and dehydration. If left untreated, it can be fatal. Ethiopia has a history of cholera outbreaks, with the current outbreak being the latest to affect the country. The The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has called for immediate action to address the situation.
The Ethiopian government has been working to contain the outbreak, but the UNOCHA has noted that more needs to be done. Figures from the UNOCHA show that some 100,000 people were previously vaccinated, while a new round of oral cholera vaccination campaign with 1.9 million doses available as of early April is scheduled for rollout in mid-May. However, the United Nations body warned that the coverage by the campaign is low, considering a population of more than 7 million people is living in and near the affected areas.
Widening oral cholera vaccination coverage requires more funds, the UNOCHA said. It added that strategic investments, especially in safe drinking water supply systems, sanitation, and hygiene, can eliminate the risk of cholera, even in vulnerable communities affected by insecurity and displacement.
The outbreak in Ethiopia is also of concern for other countries, including Nigeria, which has recently experienced a resurgence of cholera cases. According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), there have been 1,336 suspected cases of cholera in Nigeria since the beginning of the year, with 79 deaths reported. The NCDC has activated an emergency operation center to coordinate the response to the outbreak.
The outbreak in Nigeria has been linked to the lack of access to clean water and poor sanitation in affected communities. The NCDC has urged Nigerians to practice good hygiene and sanitation habits to prevent the spread of cholera. The situation in Ethiopia serves as a reminder of the importance of investing in safe drinking water supply systems, sanitation, and hygiene to prevent cholera outbreaks.
Conclusion Of Cholera Outbreak In Ethopia
The ongoing cholera outbreak in South-Eastern Ethiopia is a cause for concern, with the United Nations warning of a high risk of cross-border spread of the disease. The Ethiopian government and international organizations have been working to contain the outbreak, but more needs to be done to prevent the further spread of cholera. The situation in Ethiopia also serves as a reminder of the importance of investing in safe drinking water supply systems, sanitation, and hygiene to prevent cholera outbreaks, not just in Ethiopia, but in other countries such as Nigeria, where there have been recent cases of cholera.