News: Ethiopia battles triple threat: cholera, measles, and malaria outbreaks

According to the United Nations, more than 1.8 million new malaria cases were recorded in Ethiopia between 01 January and 26 May, 2024, resulting in a tragic toll of 314 fatalities (Photo: UNICEF)

Addis Abeba – Ethiopia is grappling with a confluence of health emergencies, according to a recent report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The country faces outbreaks of cholera, measles, and malaria, each posing a significant threat to public health.

The cholera outbreak, which began in August 2022, is the longest recorded in Ethiopia’s history.

OCHA reports a worrying surge in cases across the Afar and Oromia regions over the past three months, marking a troubling third wave of the outbreak.

Measles cases are also on the rise, fueled by low immunization coverage and a lack of awareness about vaccination among caregivers.

This situation is further complicated by population displacement due to conflict and limited access to healthcare in some areas.

A recent report by Addis Standard tragically highlighted the consequences, with at least 15 deaths attributed to a measles outbreak in Amhara’s Wagihimra Zone, exacerbated by an ongoing drought.

Malaria cases have reached a seven-year high, with the OCHA report citing disruptions in mosquito breeding patterns caused by both drought and floods.

A recent news article published by Addis Standard drew attention to a significant increase in malaria cases, particularly within the Amhara and Oromia regions.

The article reported that at least eleven individuals, including children, tragically succumbed to malaria in the West Wollega zone of Oromia in recent weeks.

Further highlighting the severity of the situation, data from the Oromia Health Bureau indicates that government health facilities within the region identified a concerning number of malaria cases exceeding 57,000 in a single week.

Adding to the growing concern, the Amhara Public Health Institute reported a troubling statistic two weeks ago. The data revealed that over 1.2 million people in the region contracted malaria within the past eleven months.

The World Health Organization (WHO) confirms an upward trend, with the number of districts recording confirmed cases increasing from 1,397 on 28 April to 1,399 by 26 May, 2024.

Data from the period between 01 January and 26 May, 2024 paints a concerning picture. Over 1.8 million new malaria cases were documented across Oromia (35%), Amhara (22%), Southwest (13%), and Southern regions, with a tragic toll of 314 fatalities. AS

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