Geneva � As rainy season starts in Somalia, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned of cholera outbreak in the drought-hit country.
Somalia has suffered from the largest cholera outbreak over the past five years and the number of people killed is expected to double by the end of June, according to the UN health agency, which reported close to 32,000 cases of cholera, including 618 deaths, since the beginning of the year.
The drought had led to lack of clean water and the largest cholera outbreak in Somalia in the past five years, WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic told journalists here on Friday.
Jasarevic noted that the case fatality rate (CFR) of cholera is 1.9 percent, with an emergency threshold of 1 percent. Those numbers are expected to double at the end of next month, as the overall numbers jump due to the start this week of the rainy season. He added that lack of access to clean water and hygiene, food insecurity and malnutrition caused by drought are worsening the figures.
There may be more than 50,000 cases of cholera in 2017 in Somalia, the spokesman said. A UN-led vaccination campaign reached more than 450,000 people in March, and a second round was launched on Thursday.
UN News reported that in addition to cholera, Somalis are faced with the threat of measles as a result of a low vaccination rate, and massive displacement and crowding as a result of the drought. A campaign had been planned to vaccinate half-a-million children aged between six months and five years, but the required $2.7 million have not yet been met.
Source: International Islamic News Agency