The World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday that it is ramping up response to curb cholera transmission in Somalia as heavy rains continue to pound several parts of the country.
The WHO said Somalia has had uninterrupted cholera transmission in 29 drought-affected districts since 2022 and in the Banadir region since the drought of 2017. A total of 14,191 suspected cases of cholera including 38 associated deaths were reported from 29 districts of Somalia since January.
“WHO and health partners are scaling up the implementation of cholera preparedness and response activities in anticipation for flash floods resulting from El Nino season which is expected to start in October 2023,” the UN health agency said in its update.
The latest move comes after the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said riverine floods caused by heavy rains have killed at least four people in Somalia while three others are still missing.
It also warned that the risk of waterborne diseases and other health hazards is likely to increase due to contamination of water sources and stagnant water due to flooding.
The WHO said some 308 new suspected cases with one associated death were reported from 29 drought-affected districts, noting that the number of new cases increased by 33 percent in all districts in the past two weeks.