2011-07-17 17:57:11

Cholera adds to famine refugee woes

The UN World Health Organization says that five million people are at risk of cholera in drought-hit Ethiopia, where acute diarrhoea has broken out in crowded, unsanitary refugee camps.

Cholera, an acute intestinal infection, causes watery diarrhoea that can quickly lead to severe dehydration and death if treatment is not promptly given. Ethiopian health officials have confirmed cases of the symptom in the Somali, Afar and Oromiya regions of Ethiopia.

The World Health Organization is delivering emergency health kits to Ethiopia and
helping train health workers in treating malnutrition and in detecting disease outbreaks.

Drought across the Horn of Africa, now affecting more than 11 million people in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Somalia, has increased the risk of the spread of infectious diseases,
especially polio, cholera and measles. Over 8 million people are also at risk of Malaria.

Somalis fleeing severe drought and intensified fighting have been arriving at the rate of more than 1,700 a day in Ethiopia, where 4.5 million people now need assistance. Kelsea Brennan-Wessels reports listen: RealAudioMP3

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