Cholera death toll surges to 75 in Somalia amid rapid spread-Xinhua

Cholera death toll surges to 75 in Somalia amid rapid spread

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-04-17 20:24:31

MOGADISHU, April 17 (Xinhua) -- At least 75 people have died from cholera in Somalia since January amid a significant rise in new cases, the country's ministry of health has said.

A total of 7,235 new cases have so far been reported, the Ministry of Health and Human Services said, adding that among these cases, 4,647, or 64 percent, were classified as severe.

"The overall case fatality rate for the cumulative cases reported in this period is 1.0 percent, although specific regions like Bossaso, Bulo Burte and Mahaday show higher rates," the ministry said in its latest epidemiological update released Tuesday evening in Mogadishu, the capital.

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection that spreads through food and water contaminated with bacteria, often from feces.

According to the health ministry, of the reported cases, 3,708, or 51 percent, were female, highlighting the vulnerability of women to cholera infection.

Additionally, it said, 4,174 cases, or 58 percent, were children under five years of age, underscoring the heightened risk faced by this age group.

The ongoing cholera outbreak in Somalia is mainly attributed to a growing number of people with limited access to safe water and adequate sanitation facilities.

El Nino-induced flooding in the last quarter of 2023 has significantly impacted many areas in Somalia, causing further spikes in cholera cases, according to the United Nations.

Somalia has had uninterrupted acute watery diarrhea/cholera transmission since 2022, and in the Banadir region since the drought of 2017, according to the World Health Organization.

In 2023, more than 18,300 cumulative cases and 46 deaths were reported, over half being children aged below five years.