Somalia launches cholera campaign

16th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

Authorities in Somalia launched on Friday a campaign to tackle cholera which has infected about 60,000 in the country since the start of the year, the World Health Organisation said.

The health ministry launched the initiative in the capital Mogadishu which aims to educate at least one person in every household on preventing the disease and what to do when symptoms occur.

The WHO's Horn of Africa team said there had been 60,000 cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) in south-central Somalia since January, with 75 percent of cases among children under five.

In November alone there were 6,300 cases, the WHO's Christian Lindmeier told journalists in Geneva.

Although endemic in Somalia, the last major outbreak of cholera was in 2007 and since then improved hygiene and sanitation had led to a drop in cases.

Massive population movements this year has increased the risk of diseases spreading, Lindmeier said.

Hundreds of thousands of Somalis have fled the country in search of refuge in neighbouring states amid the Horn of Africa's worst drought in decades.

© 2011 AFP

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