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Ethiopia: Cholera and Severe Acute Malnutrition Ravage Oromia

According to information obtained from Oromia, both AWD (Acute Watery Diarrhoea, commonly known as cholera) and SAM (Severe Acute Malnutrition) are ravaging West Arsi, East Shewa, West Hararghe, North Shewa and Arsi zones in the State of Oromia. Unfortunately, the government’s lack of attention to the control, treatment and intervention of the situation is exacerbating the problem.

Cholera is expanding and killing hundreds of people in West Arsi (Shashamane, Kofale, Shalla, Arsi Negele and other districts), East Shewa (Fantale, Boset and Adami Tulu districts), West Hararghe (Mieso, Guba Qoricha, Chiro and other neighboring districts) and North Shewa (Wara Jarso district), and Arsi zones (Merti, Jaju, and other neighboring districts.)

According to experts and informants, on 29 July 2009 there were over 1700 cases of cholera and 28 deaths in the West Arsi zone. Out of 220 cases, five deaths are reported in Mieso, Chiro and Guba Qoricha districts. Similar death cases are also reported from all other affected districts and zones.
Zones affected with the cholera are highlighted in red (the Current Map of the State of Oromia)

Due to lack of access to the remote areas of the zones, the number of death cases and cholera-affected people has been under-reported; the problem is much worse than what is being reported. The situation in West Arsi is the worst; the government has prohibited visits to the area.

Victims are suffering from the disease and lack of treatments as the health staff in hospitals and clinics is very few to cope with the problem, which in turn is increasing the number of people dying from the disease.

In most of these affected districts, malnutrition cases also exist. Children under five and lactating mothers are suffering from SAM and lack of appropriate treatments.
Victims of Government’s Lack of Attention to Curb Severe Acute Malnutrition in Oromia



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