Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health reveals cholera outbreak in Oromia, Somali regions

Ministry of Health (MoH) disclosed  that a Cholera outbreak has affected 18 Woredas of Oromia and Somalia Regional States.
The Ministry said that despite efforts were made to put under control the Cholera outbreak in five Woredas of Oromia and Somalia Regional States, 18 Woredas are still in the grip of the epidemic. A local  news source quoted a statement from Friday, 31 March 2023, by MoH that measles and malaria outbreak have also occurred in various regions.
The Ministry said in its statement, focusing on drought and related public health risks, that the cholera outbreak has occurred since last August in 18 Woredas situated in four Zones of Oromia and four Woredas of Somalia Region. The statement indicated that it was possible to control the outbreak in five Woredas of the stated areas.

The Ministry said that it has established in all epidemic areas 23 temporary centers where proper medical   services are being given. In an effort to control the epidemic, cholera vaccination has been given to highly exposed section of the community in Oromia and Somalia Regions. Moreover, request has been forwarded to the World Health Organization for the provision of 1.2 million vaccines for adjacent Woredas where the epidemic has been traced.

As per the report of The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), close to 3.3 million people are at high risk in Woredas affected by the cholera outbreak. According to the report, since the start of the epidemic, last August, 2,276 people have been affected by the cholera and 50 people lost their lives.
Apart from the cholera epidemic, measles have also claimed lives. MoH said in its statement that 153 people lost their lives due to the measles over the last 18 months. The Ministry further said that 14,775 people were affected by the measles in the stated months. Of the reported cases in six regions and Diredawa Town, 14,334 have recovered, according to the report. Currently 2,288 patients have been reported in these areas.
MoH indicated in its report that besides cholera epidemic and measles, the malaria outbreak has expanded in various parts of Ethiopia. The number of malaria patients has shown increment at national level since January 2022 in various regions, the Ministry said.
The Ministry indicated citing survey data that excluding Afar and Harari Regions, the number of people affected by malaria exceled the data collected over the last five years.
MoH said that to control the malaria epidemic and halt the spread, 19.6 million nets have been sent to the regions and some 80 percent of them have been distributed to the affected people.
Moreover, sufficient anti-malaria drugs were distributed. Community mobilization and communications on epidemic threat have also been done at various levels. Currently utmost efforts have been exerted to contain the epidemic in the affected areas, according to the Ministry.

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