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Cholera: UN warns more districts at risk of outbreak in Ethiopia

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned that more districts are at risk amid the ongoing cholera outbreak in the southeastern part of Ethiopia.

The cholera outbreak is currently active in 23 localities of three districts of the Bale zone in the Oromia region, as well as in nine localities in one district of the Liban zone in the Somali region, the UNOCHA said.

It said in its latest situation update that the figures indicated that as of October 25, some 273 cholera cases have been reported including nine deaths.

It added that suspected cases in East Bale are under investigation.

The caseload has increased by 30 per cent since Oct. 10 with new daily cases reported in Berbere and Kersadula districts, according to UNOCHA.

The UNOCHA, which warned that additional districts are at risk of an outbreak, said that the ongoing response is hindered by insufficient funding and partners’ presence.

It noted that shortage of water, sanitation and hygiene treatment chemicals, limited amount of water storage items, insufficient water trucking capacity as well as a large number of non-functional water schemes represent the major gaps.

Last month, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) indicated that the latest cholera outbreak is drought-related as Ethiopia is currently experiencing one of the most severe droughts in recent history.

IFRC said drought-related cholera outbreak was due to a number of compounding factors, like the limited accessibility and availability of safe drinking and cooking water in rural areas where they are exposed to untreated water sources.



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