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#ASDailyScoop: Local charities call for urgent malaria relief response in Western Oromia

A health worker creating awareness about prevention of Malaria in Begii district, West Wollega, September 2023 (Photo: Begii District Communication Office/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – Two local charity organizations Harmee International Charity Organization and Biiftuu Holistic Development Foundation, said the malaria epidemic in Western Oromia could worsen in the coming two months if not timely and adequately intervened. 

In a joint statement sent to Addis Standard, the charities said more than 70% of the population in West Wollega and 60% of those in Kellem Wollega, according to a government report, are at the highest risk of malaria. “Disease prevention activities are interrupted, most health posts and some health centers are not functional, there is a lack of medical supplies, an inadequate ambulance and a high turnover of health care workers… because of the security problem in the area,” the statement said. 

“The burden of malnutrition, lack of nutritional therapy and above all, the poor engagement of humanitarian organizations in responding to this life-threatening situation and poor media coverage have worsened the problem,” it added.

The charities called on individuals, religious institutions and non-governmental organizations to urgently fund local charity groups “for successful emergency humanitarian response and life-sustaining interventions in the areas, while also calling on the regional government to scale-up response to the epidemic and other humanitarian situations in the two zones. They also extended their call to UN agencies and other international and local NGOs on the need for urgent malaria relief response. 

On 18 october, Addis Standard reported at least 45 people have died in West Wollega during the ongoing malaria outbreak that ravaged the conflict hit Western Oromia. AS

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