Addis Abeba – The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has warned that close to 7 million people are at risk of being infected by cholera in Ethiopia as the outbreak has further spread to SNNP and Sidama regions.
The office said in a latest report released yesterday, that 6,157 cholera cases were reported in 348 kebeles across 54 woredas with 94 associated deaths, adding that the ongoing outbreak is among the longest outbreaks ever recorded in Ethiopia.
In March, the UN had alarmed rising cases of Cholera in Ethiopia putting the death toll at 50, 2,276 total cholera cases registered as of 23 March and estimated 3.3 million people to be at risk.
According to the latest UN report, recent cases have been confirmed in SNNP and Sidama regions, including in urban settlements such as Dila, Arba Minch, Hawassa although the first cholera case was reported in Harana Buluk Woreda of Bale Zone of Oromia on 27 August 2022.
The outbreak has spread into bordering zones of West Guji, Borena, Guji, West Arsi and East Bale of Oromia Region and Liban, Dawa and Afder Zone of Somali Region, the report added.
Flood emergencies ensued from localized excessive rains in all affected regions have displaced more than 196,000 people across Somali and Oromia Regions, posing further risk of spreading cholera, it stated.
The UN called for urgent scaling-up of the ongoing response, both funding and capacity, to respond and control this outbreak. AS