Displaced Somalians in Mogadishu now face cholera outbreak
Aug 17, 2011
With droughts and famine lingering, thousands displaced in Mogadishu from Somalia may be faced with even more troubles as a cholera epidemic could spread rapidly through makeshift camps, IRIN reports.
"The number of cases is two or even three times what was there last year so we can say that we have an epidemic of cholera going on," Michel Yao, public health adviser at the World Health Organization (WHO) told the news outlet.
Children under five made up three-quarters of the reported 1,633 cases in June and July, which correlates with the fact that they tend to be the most affected by malnutrition.
"Over half a million children are at imminent risk of death if they do not get help within weeks," Marixie Mercado, UNICEF's spokeswoman, told the news source. "Beyond being a malnutrition crisis, it is also a crisis for child survival more generally because children who are malnourished are that much more susceptible to cholera, measles and malaria.
"This is going to be with us for a while, but we can save lives if we act now," Mercado added.
As the crisis heightens, humanitarian groups are working to improve the sanitation facilities and shelters at the makeshift camps.