News: WHO Ethiopia joins emergency response to contain Cholera outbreak in Bale zone, Oromia region

The WHO team have further increased activities, strengthening the capacity and implementing a response to Cholera, which focuses on treatment and the prevention of infections.

Addis Ababa – The World Health Organization (WHO) Ethiopia disclosed pictures of its staff working together with Ethiopia’s health officials in their emergency response to a Cholera outbreak in Harena Buluk and Berbera woredas of the Bale zone in Southern Oromia. 

At least nine people have died following the latest outbreak across five districts in Oromia and Somali regional state, with over 330 cases reported as of 31 October.

The outbreak was first reported in Harana Buluk woreda of Bale zone on 27 August this year. On 18 September, Berbere woreda became the second woreda reporting cholera cases, soon after followed by Delo Mena woreda where suspected cases were reported in Burka IDPs site on 03 October.

In a report released on 07 November, WHO says the first cases of Cholera were reported to its Ethiopia Country Officer  On 14th September 2022. In response to the outbreak, WHO Ethiopia, Oromia Region Health Bureau (ORHB) and Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) dispatched a multidisciplinary rapid response team (RRT) to the two Woredas.

A team of experts (epidemiologists, public health officers, risk communication and community engagement officers & logistics officers, and others) with medical equipment, and other resources, arrived on the scene on 16th September 2022, within 48hrs after it was first reported according to WHO.

Together with experts from regional health bureau and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, WHO’s surveillance team “assessed the epidemiological evolution of the outbreak and gaps in facility/community-based surveillance. Conducted detailed investigation on the initially reported two cases and interviewed patients”.

Following the investigation of the cases in the Harena Buluk woreda, the team noted that all Cholera cases were drinking from the same water source.

The experts collected 47 water samples from the most frequent water sources used by the community out of which 21 samples tested positive for fecal coliform (water contaminated with feces).

The team said it has operationalized and provided support to 5 oral rehydration points to provide the first level treatment to patients, and also distributed preventive hygiene kits to the communities and health facilities, where water was tested and supported clean water points.

Community-based health promotional activities and preparatory training for communities, volunteers and healthcare workers on Cholera key messages and the use of water treatment chemicals has also been conducted

After the campaign according to the WHO there has been a trend of excavating pit toilet and during a supervision visit, the WHO team, with Bale Zone Health Office counted about 160 new pit latrines in Hambela Kebele of Harena Buluk woreda. AS

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