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Outbreak update: cholera in Somalia, 26 October 2017

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26 October 2017 – The Ministry of Health of Somalia has reported 54 suspected cases of cholera and 0 deaths for week 41 (9 – 15 October 2017). The cumulative number of cases stands at 77 783, including 1159 associated deaths across the country. 

The overall case-fatality rate for the outbreak which started in January 2017 is 1.5%. No related deaths have been reported in the past few weeks, thanks to timely interventions by WHO, national health authorities and health partners. 

Cholera response and prevention efforts have significantly reduced the number of new cases reported across the country. Additionally, regions that received oral cholera vaccines (OCVs) have reported fewer numbers of new cases. A total of 203103 people received the first dose of OCVs in Wadajir and Daynile districts of Banadir between 20 and 26 September 2017. This is in addition to vaccination campaigns conducted in Bay region, Banadir, Beledweyne and Kismayo earlier this year.

Other response efforts include training of health workers in case management, infection prevention and control, and emergency health; distribution of medical supplies and emergency kits; and community education. A total of 167 tonnes of essential medical supplies have been distributed to all regions since the start of the outbreak. 

The drought in Somalia has brought on lack of clean water, destroying livestock and crops, and causing displacement of hundreds of thousands of Somalis. Around 6.7 out of 12.3 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Nearly 5.5 million people are at risk of contracting water-borne diseases like cholera. 

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