1997 - Cholera in Somalia
15 April 1997
Disease Outbreak Reported
Outbreaks of acute diarrhoea and cholera have continued to occur in various parts of the country since late 1997. Cholera has been confirmed and continues to be reported in Mogadishu and Merca and new outbreaks were reported in Lower Shabelle region. The total number of cholera cases (including suspect cases) reported since the first case on 30 November 1997 is 1535 with 47 deaths.
The number of cases in Mogadishu North has almost tripled in the last weeks following recent heavy rainfalls, according to the latest report from the WHO country representative. Although the treatment centre there is coping well with the increased cases, medical supplies are running short and WHO is trying to purchase these elsewhere. ECHO (European Community for Humanitarian Action) is also providing support and sending supplies. A WHO consultant who was already in Mogadishu to study cholera transmission there and to assist in setting up a cholera committee will now extend his stay to help deal with the increasing number of cases there. However, in recently affected rural areas coordination of control activities is difficult.
Based on trends of cholera outbreaks in previous years, a decline in numbers is expected in the next six to eight weeks. The remote areas affected will continue to be difficult to reach because of insecurity and logistical constraints. Cholera task forces meet regularly to review the situation.