Thursday, April 03, 2003

SOMALIA: Cholera outbreak confirmed in MogadishuNAIROBI, 3 APRIL 2003 (IRIN) - An outbreak of cholera has been confirmed in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, an official of the World Health Organisation (WHO) told IRIN on Thursday.

According to the official, "99 stool samples were collected and checked by an AMREF [African Medical and Research Foundation] laboratory in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, where they confirmed 46 samples are positive for cholera ogawa".

Since the criteria for opening a cholera treatment centre (CTC) had been met, Action Contre La Faim (ACF) had opened such a facility on 1 April, he added.

A regional cholera task force was activated by the local authorities in collaboration with WHO, other UN agencies involved in health and ACF "to monitor and contain the situation".

Since the opening of the CTC by ACF on Tuesday, 18 severe cases had been reported, the ACF country director, Florence Gillette, told IRIN. The Somali Red Crescent Society in collaboration with ACF had opened four oral rehydration points "to treat the less severe cases", she said. "Initial indications show that the epidemic will be moderate, but we will continue to monitor the situation."

Cholera is an endemic disease in Somalia, particularly in the Mogadishu area.


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