Cholera Spreads Rapidly in Somalia | USAIM

Cholera Spreads Rapidly in Somalia

Hajer Naili's picture

Somalia, which has been hit by a drought and food crisis, is facing a resurgence of cholera with more than 25,000 cases reported since January, according to the World Health Organization.

The WHO warned that the number of individuals struck by cholera or acute watery diarrhea and the deadly epidemic should double by this summer.

At least 12 out of 18 regions in Somalia have registered cases of cholera. The center of cholera outbreak is located in the central region of Baidoa. More than 28, 400 cases have been recorded since the beginning of this year, including at least 558 deaths.

Spread by contaminated food or water, cholera can be avoided by accessing clean water and proper sanitations.

In Somalia, the limited availability of sanitation supplies and facilities in certain camps hosting internally displaced persons is increasing the risk of communicable disease outbreaks. Additionally, the influx of internally displaced persons arriving at the camps each day is putting a strain on limited shared resources available.

Since the beginning of the crisis, IOM in Somalia has been providing clean water and water purification tablets to the affected and displaced populations. The organization has also expanded its mobile teams in order to provide lifesaving healthcare to an increasing number of Somalis affected by cholera and acute watery diarrhea.



Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated. Malnourished children in Somalia under five years are especially vulnerable.

However, the disease can be successfully treated with oral rehydration solution. Severe cases will need rapid treatment with intravenous fluids and antibiotics, according to the WHO.

Since November 2016, more than 600,000 persons have been internally displaced as a result of the drought and food crisis in Somalia. Poor seasonal rainfall in April followed by probable El Niño conditions at the end of 2017 could deteriorate further the humanitarian situation.



Hajer Naili
Hajer Naili is a Journalist and the Communications and Social Media Coordinator at IOM Washington, D.C. She previously worked as a web-reporter/photojournalist for the New-York based publication Women's eNews and was a freelancer for Al Jazeera Plus.

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