MOGADISHU, Somalia – The World Health Organization said Thursday it has recorded nearly 40 cholera-related deaths in Somalia in 2022.
“Cholera is endemic in Somalia with recurrent outbreaks reported since 2017. Between 1 January to 10 July 2022, a cumulative number of 7,796 cases of cholera including 37 associated deaths (case fatality ratio 0.5%) have been reported from 25 drought-affected districts,” it said.
Cases reported in the first six months of 2022 have exceeded the cases reported in 2021 in the same drought-affected districts when 6,205 acute watery diarrhea or suspected cholera cases, including 39 deaths, were reported.
The current outbreak is taking place in the context of other ongoing outbreaks, including high rates of malnutrition and escalating drought, all of which are exacerbating the fragility of Somalia’s humanitarian situation and have led to a large displacement of people, placing additional pressure on an already over-burdened and underperforming health care system, it said.
Somalia currently has limited capacity to respond to the outbreaks, increasing the risk of severe public health effects.
Also, drought has worsened in the horn of Africa region, mainly in Somalia, which has no rain in sight, according to the UN that warned food insecurity cases are increasing.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that by the end of the year, 7.1 million Somalis, or half the population, will face severe food insecurity.
A total of 1.5 million children in Somalia under 5 years of age, will be severely malnourished, according to their latest situation report. The number amounts to 45% of children in Somalia.
To support humanitarian efforts in 2022, UNICEF Somalia said it has received $41 million against the required $177 million. The 2021 appeal, however, still has a funding gap of 61%.