An ongoing cholera outbreak in Ethiopia has claimed 156 lives so far, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said.
“Since May 7, the outbreak keeps spreading with rising confirmed cases by 85 per cent from 6,157 to 11,407 cases as of June 20.
“This is with 156 related deaths,” the UNOCHA said in its latest situation update on Wednesday.
The current cholera outbreak is among the longest ever in East African country, with first case recorded in August 2022.
The UNOCHA said the outbreak’s cumulative case fatality rate of 1.36 per cent is higher than the globally agreed threshold of one per cent.
The UNOCHA warned that the upcoming rainy season is likely to trigger new flooding incidents across the country.
It called for urgent preparedness actions to contain possible spread of cholera outbreak across the country.
It said since onset of the outbreak, medics have only contained the spread in 15 per cent of the affected areas.
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This is mainly due to inadequate responses.
Contamination of water sources and limited access due to insecurity and floods further compounded the poor response.
“With limited availability of Oral Cholera Vaccine and inadequate access to water, sanitation and hygiene services, more than 7.7 million people remain at high-risk,” it warned.
Medics recently conducted a vaccination campaign in Oromia, Somali and the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples regions of Ethiopia.
They vaccinated more than 1.9 million people with one dose only, due to global supply shortage.
The UNOCHA underscored that urgent additional funds are required to scale up cholera response and preparedness efforts in Ethiopia. (Xinhua)
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