Ethiopia: Thousands hit by outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea

Patients with acute watery diarrhoea admitted to the Kebridehar town treatment centre, Somali region, Ethiopia

ESAT News (April 25, 2017)

An outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea is sweeping through Doolo zone, in Ethiopia’s Somali region, exacerbated by one of the worst droughts in 30 years,  Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned on Monday.

The medical humanitarian group said on Monday that in response, teams from MSF are working alongside Ethiopian health authorities to bring the outbreak under control, while warning that more external funding and resources are urgently needed to stop the disease from spreading further.  

Officially declared on 7 April, the outbreak has affected more than 16,000 people in the whole region since the start of the year, with about 3,500 new cases per month, according to local authorities.

People in this region, mostly nomadic, generally take advantage of the rainy season to store water for the rest of the year. But little rain has fallen in the past two seasons, resulting in a severe drought.

The outbreak is the latest in a series of crises brought on by the drought which affects some 5.6 million people, who require immediate food assistance.