Somalia and UN agencies started a five-day campaign to vaccinate 934,511 people against cholera in nine high-risk districts with ongoing outbreaks.

The Ministry of Health, WHO, and UNICEF say another round of oral cholera vaccinations targets children over 1 year old, pregnant women, as well as displaced people.

“To prevent epidemics, we strongly advise affected communities to take two doses of cholera vaccine orally,” said Somalia’s Health Minister Fawziya Abikar Nur in a joint declaration. “We are imploring our partners to help us improve water, hygiene, and sanitary conditions for vulnerable communities and the general public.”

Somalia has seen several epidemics since 2017 due to poor access to safe water and sanitation services, natural hazards, including drought and floods, prolonged conflict, and mass population displacement.

The UN says Somalia’s ongoing water shortages has displaced more than 770,000 people, dried up freshwater resources, and caused food insecurity, which increases the risk of cholera and other contagious diseases.

“While we need to step up our collective response to cholera and other waterborne diseases, especially in crisis intervention, we have over 2,100 health workers utilized in 78 districts, including 24 crop failure districts,” said Mamunur Rahman Malik, WHO Country Representative for Somalia.

As of May 15, 4,887 suspected cholera cases and 16 deaths had been reported in Somalia’s drought-affected districts. 62% of these cases involved children under five, and 50% involved females.

The UN said the initial oral cholera vaccination campaign will begin a few weeks after the first round. The first dose recipients will get another dose in the next round of the campaign to boost immunity.

” Parents and caregivers can save their children’s lives by taking preventive measures. giving them cholera vaccine drops. Children are vulnerable to preventable diseases like cholera during this drought when water is scarce “UNICEF Somalia Rep. Angela Kearney. Enditem.

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