MOGADISHU -- There is an overall reduction in the number of new cholera cases in Somalia this year as compared to the numbers at the beginning of the outbreak in December 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday.
The WHO said the cumulative number of suspected cholera cases since the beginning of this year stands at 5,872, including 30 associated deaths.
The UN health agency attributed the fall in cases to improved implementation of preventive interventions, including oral cholera vaccination campaigns and the strengthening of water, sanitation and hygiene activities in hotspots.
"However, the current floods and cholera outbreak occurred at a time when COVID-19 cases are increasing in all regions of Somalia, stretching the already limited capacity to respond to the cholera alerts," the WHO said in a statement.
The current cholera outbreak started in December 2017, following floods that affected districts in the basins of Jubba and Shabelle rivers.
The WHO said it will continue to provide leadership and support to health authorities and partners in implementing activities that can mitigate the outbreak.
Cholera is a gastrointestinal disease, usually spread by contaminated water and food, and can cause severe diarrhea that, in extreme cases, can lead to fatal dehydration and kidney failure within hours.