[dehai-news] (IRIN) ETHIOPIA-KENYA: Cholera deaths in border town

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From: Biniam Haile \(SWE\) (eritrea.lave@comhem.se)
Date: Fri Mar 13 2009 - 10:01:14 EST

ETHIOPIA-KENYA: Cholera deaths in border town
MOYALE, 12 March 2009 (IRIN) - At least 14 people have died in the past
seven days of cholera in the town of Moyale, along the Kenyan-Ethiopian
border, health officials have said.
"Three people have died in Kenya and 11 deaths [have been] confirmed in
Ethiopia," Abdullahi Jaldesa, the Moyale district clinical officer, told
IRIN. The three dead in Kenya include two children. Another 13 patients
have been admitted to the Moyale District Hospital.
The Ministry of Health, with technical support from the country office
of the World Health Organization (WHO), confirmed the outbreak on 5
"A total of 65 cases and three deaths have been reported," WHO said in
an update on 8 March. "The neighbouring country [Ethiopia] is also
experiencing an outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea in the same locality,
and has reported 109 cases and 16 deaths. However they have not
confirmed it as cholera."
Some 50 cases have been diagnosed in Moyale, Kenya, and 110 over the
border. The death toll is expected to rise as some of the affected are
in remote areas far from health facilities.
According to Liban Mohamed, Kenya Red Cross Society regional
coordinator, the district hospital is facing a shortage of drugs.
The cases were first reported in Ethiopia before spreading to the
village of Dabelle in Moyale, Kenya, Mohamed said. The spread has been
attributed to poor sanitation and water shortages, which have led to the
consumption of contaminated water.
Population movement along the common border has also fuelled the spread
of the disease, which has yet to be brought under control. A shortage of
personnel and prevailing drought are frustrating control efforts, he
Some restaurants along the Kenyan side of the border have been closed
and food imports from Ethiopia banned.
Local leader Golicha Godana said there was a need for mobile health
services to reach affected populations in remote parts of the region.
"We are facing hunger, water shortages and now cholera. The situation is
very bad," he said.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio
cholerae. Left untreated it can lead to severe dehydration and death.

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