News: Ongoing Cholera outbreak kills 28 in four zones of Oromia, Somali regions, leaves close to one million people at high risk: UN

In November 2022, the WHO said its team joined activities to contain the latest Cholera outbreak in Ethiopia, strengthening the capacity and implementing a response to Cholera, which focuses on treatment and the prevention of infections. Photo: WHO

Addis Abeba – The latest report by the UN reveals that the Cholera outbreak has spread out to 66 kebeles of 8 woredas across Bale, Guji and West Arsi zones of Oromia and 2 woredas of Liban zone of Somali region, rising the total number of cholera cases reported as of 30 January 2023 to 1,055 – of whom 191 IDPs – including 28 associated deaths. Close to 1 million people are at high-risk in the 10 affected woredas.

As of 30 January 2023, 1,055 cholera cases have been reported in 6 woredas of Bale zone (Berbere, Harana Buluk, Goro, Delo Mena, Gura Damole, Meda Welabu), Girja woreda of Guji zone, Nenesebo woreda of West Arsi zone, 2 woredas of Liban zone (Guradamole and Karsadula). Out of 28 associated deaths confirmed in these 10 affected woredas, Guradamole woreda of Liban zone (13) and Berbere woreda of Bale zone (5) reported the highest number of deaths so far.

According to the report, the total cholera caseload increased by 30 per cent since the beginning of January 2023 with new daily cases reported and new patients admitted in Goro, Nenesebo and Girja woredas. The reported deaths mostly fall within the age range of 0 to 14 years (of which 25 per cent are children under five). Out of the total caseload, more than 77 per cent have not received any doses of Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV).

In a report published on 15 December 2022, the UN said that the cholera outbreak has spread to 55 villages in 5 woredas in Bale, 1 woreda in Guji zones of Oromia region and 2 woredas in Liban zone of Somali region. As of December 14, 669 people have been infected with cholera, including 24 deaths. Close to 743,000 people were at risk in the eight affected woredas. The latest UN report, published 1 and half month later, shows that the spread of the outbreak is increasing rapidly.

On 27 August 2022, the first cholera case was reported in Harana Buluk woreda of Bale zone, Southern Oromia region of Ethiopia. As of the reporting date, six woredas (out of a total of 13 woredas) of the zone have registered confirmed cases.

More recently, in late December 2022, cholera cases have been reported for the first time in

the bordering zone of West Arsi, specifically in Nensebo woreda. West Arsi has become the fourth zone reporting cholera cases in the country, after Guji and Liban zones of Oromia and Somali regions respectively.

On December 26, 2022, the Ethiopian Ministry of Health led a consultative and advocacy meeting on the implementation of the National Cholera Elimination Plan (NCP) with the participation of governmental and nongovernmental actors, including the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), the Oromia and Somali Regional Health Bureaus (RHBs), the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

On January 13, 2023, the Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) campaign was officially launched in Somali and Oromia Regions, UNOCHA reports. AS

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