7 mn Ethiopians at risk of cholera infection: UN

Addis Ababa, May 19 (IANS) The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has warned that around 7 million Ethiopians are at risk of being infected by cholera.

The UNOCHA in its latest situation update issued on Thursday warned of the further spread of cholera disease in Ethiopia and disclosed that the outbreak of the disease in the country’s Oromia, Somali, Southern and Sidama regions has so far resulted in 6,157 cases of infection, of which 94 were fatalities.

“The current outbreak is among the longest outbreaks ever recorded in Ethiopia, with the first case recorded in August 2022,” the UNOCHA said.

The UN agency also said that localised excessive rains have brought with them flood emergencies in all cholera-affected regions, Xinhua news agency reported.

Data from the agency show that as of April 2023, more than 1.9 million oral cholera vaccine (OCV) doses have been procured and dispatched in Ethiopia.

The UNOCHA, however, said that the response to the cholera outbreak in Ethiopia has been hindered by insufficient funding, limited partners’ presence in affected areas, shortage of OCV doses and limited water quality test kits.

–IANS

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