April 18, 2017

Somaliland: Cholera and AWD Claim 28 Lives; Scores More Remain at Risk

Photo courtesy of YoTuT, Flickr

Somaliland has seen 28 lives claimed in ten days by an epidemic of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea (AWD). Since the start of the month [April 2017], over 411 cases have been registered and 167 people have been hospitalised after coming into contact with contaminated water. The combination of a prolonged drought and widespread undernutrition has exacerbated the problem, allowing both youth and adults to succumb to the disease. The need for urgent humanitarian aid grows exponentially as time goes on and access to food and water diminishes.

The article below was published by ReliefWeb:

An outbreak of cholera/acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) in Somaliland has killed 28 people in the last ten days and hospitalized a further 167 people. The outbreak has devastated remote communities in the drought-ravaged region. More than 411 cases of cholera/AWD have been reported in Somaliland since the beginning of April.

The vulnerable children and adults, already struggling to cope with malnutrition and food insecurity caused in large part by the failure of 2016’s two rainy seasons, were struck down by the deadly disease after drinking contaminated water.

Twelve of the deaths were in the Taleex area, about 160km from Las Anod, with fourteen fatalities recorded in Buhodle, near the border with Ethiopia. People suffering from cholera/AWD were admitted to the Buhodle Clinic, which is run by the SRCS Somaliland.

“This outbreak is frightening, as the people of Somaliland are already weakened by the drought and by lack of food,” said Abdirasaq Ali Duran, SRCS Somaliland Tracing assistant at Buhodle sub-branch.

“Drought doesn’t just cause thirst, hunger and death – it causes diseases like acute diarrhoea, because people are so desperate for water that they’ll drink from heavily contaminated streams or puddles.”