Ninety people are reported to have succumbed to cholera in the Amhara region of Ethiopia within the last three months. The Amhara Region Health Office has verified the outbreak. The outbreak was first reported in July of this year in the West Gondar zone of the region.
Belay Bezabih, Director of the Amhara Region Public Health Institute, noted that Ethiopia experienced a cholera outbreak more than a year ago. In May of this year, borkena reported 18 deaths in South Ethiopia.
The Amhara Region Public Health Institute confirmed that 4942 cases of the disease were identified via laboratory tests between July and the end of November. The number of deaths during the same period is said to be ninety. The majority of fatalities occurred in the Quara area of the Amhara region where the problem reportedly originated. However, recent records from the director speaking to VOA Amharic service indicated no documented deaths in recent weeks.
Belay Bezabih mentioned that fifty-four districts in the region are affected. Yet, there has been progress in containing the spread in 28 districts, particularly in the western areas. To declare an area cholera-free, the director emphasized the necessity for zero new infections for 42 consecutive days.
Although vaccinations have been administered in affected areas, the Public Health Office of the region confirmed the persistence of the problem in the eastern part, specifically in North Wollo and Waghmera zones, where famine-related deaths have been reported recently.
A report by the World Health Organization in November 2023, said “Close to 1.9 million receive the Cholera vaccine despite challenging environment in Amhara region”
Staff from Debret Tabor Hospital, speaking anonymously to VOA Amharic service, expressed ongoing concerns. They mentioned that cholera cases are still prevalent in Semada and Tatch Gaynet, with about four or five cases being examined daily. However, conclusive data regarding the current status of the problem is unavailable. They further highlighted that the ongoing conflict in the region has facilitated the spread of communicable diseases.
The region has remained a conflict for over six months due to the conflict between Fano forces and Ethiopian government troops, resulting in the loss of numerous civilian lives, with no resolution in sight albeit the Federal government has been making claims that it will end military operations within two weeks.
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