Somalia – Acute Watery Diarrhea/Cholera (DG ECHO, WHO, OCHA) (ECHO Daily Flash of 9 March 2017)
A total of 8 845 cases of acute watery diarrhea (AWD) and cholera have been reported in 38 districts in 11 regions since the beginning of 2017, including 224 deaths. Surveillance reports indicate that the epidemic is spreading to inaccessible areas, especially to villages outside Baidoa town and in other areas in Bakool and Gedo regions. 400 new cases have been reported within one day (8 March).
Although cholera is occurring in Somalia every year around this time, this outbreak's intensity has been exacerbated by the current severe drought, which limits access to safe water and sanitation facilities. People and communities are forced to use unsafe water, therefore increasing the risk of transmission of water-borne diseases such as AWD/cholera.
Aid organisations active in health, water, sanitation and hygiene continue to strengthen the response in AWD/cholera-affected areas. Activities include setting up cholera treatment centres, pre-positioning of emergency supplies, chlorination of water sources, health workers training on case management and mass hygiene promotion campaigns.
However, restricted humanitarian access caused by insecurity allows the rapid spread of the outbreak in many rural areas. Cholera preventive and response activities would need to be urgently expanded in those areas.