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Somalia, 17 April 2017: UNICEF battles against the clock to provide life saving treatment to those suffering from cholera and acute watery diarrhoea

© UNICEF Somalia/2017/Knowles-Coursin
Mohammed Hassan gives his 12-year-old daughter Maragow oral rehydration solution in the UNICEF-supported cholera treatment centre where she is receiving care in Baidoa, Somalia.

BAIDOA, Somalia, 17 April 2017 – As a result of the extreme drought that has hit Somalia, a devastating outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea(AWD)/cholera has ravaged the country with more than 24,000 cases reported this year.

In Baidoa, the epicentre of the outbreak, Mohammed Hassan nurses his cholera stricken daughter, Maragow, who is 12 years old. She has been at the UNICEF-supported cholera treatment centre for three days.

“I left my child healthy and when I came back later on, she had diarrhoea,” says Mohammed fanning his daughter. “She drank water and that is the source of the contamination. Diarrhoea is affecting everyone here.”

Six years since famine was declared in parts of south-central Somalia, the country is once again on the brink of catastrophe. This time the drought is more widespread and has resulted in a chronic shortage of clean water. In some areas, water prices have increased six-fold.

“The lack of rain water is causing this cholera outbreak,” says a nurse at the Cholera Treatment Center. “People don’t have any clean and sufficient water to drink or to wash their clothes so it is easy to spread this disease.”

© UNICEF Somalia/2017/Knowles-Coursin
A mother named Fahmo fans her son Muumin who is being treated for cholera at a UNICEF-supported cholera treatment centre in Baidoa, Somalia. She said she was worried he would die. "

In response, UNICEF and partners, have scaled up their response to combat the AWD/cholera crisis with emergency health and water and sanitation teams in affected locations UNICEF supports 50 cholera treatment centres and carried out a successful oral cholera vaccination campaign for over 450,000 people. So far this year UNICEF has provided over one million people affected by drought with temporary access to safe water.

For Mohammed and his daughter, this work has had a direct effect.

“When I came here with my daughter, they immediately put in an intravenous drip and now I believe my daughter will get healthy. I am praying for that,” said Mohammed.



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