Intensifying UN Action to Combat Lethal Cholera Outbreak in Somalia: Death Toll Surges to 120

The United Nations humanitarian agency has intensified its efforts to combat the cholera outbreak in Somalia, with the death toll rising to 120 since January. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported 10,647 new cases of cholera in seven states, resulting in a case fatality rate of 1.1 percent. Additional funding is necessary to address the needs of those affected, according to the OCHA’s report released in Mogadishu, Somalia.

The OCHA warned that heavy rainfall in the country could exacerbate the current outbreak of acute watery diarrhea (AWD)/cholera, which is already prevalent in certain areas. The case fatality rate is slightly above the World Health Organization’s emergency threshold of 1 percent. The UN agency attributes the ongoing cholera outbreak in Somalia to a growing population lacking access to clean water and proper sanitation.

Somalia has been experiencing continuous transmission of AWD/cholera since 2022 and in the Banadir region since the 2017 drought, as reported by the WHO. In 2023, over 18,304 cumulative cases and 46 deaths were recorded in Somalia, with more than half being young children under five.

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