Thursday, August 17, 2006

In the Oromiya and the Southern Nations and Nationalities Acute watery diarrhoea claims more lives

Acording to IRIN Africa news on, 14 Aug 2006 The number of deaths from acute watery diarrhoea in the Oromiya and the Southern Nations and Nationalities regions of Ethiopia has increased to an alarming level, a United Nations agency has warned.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in its weekly bulletin on Monday that the disease had claimed the lives of 89 people and affected 9,270 in the regions since June. The highest number of cases was reported in Shashamene and Arsi Negele districts.

Last week, a mission comprising UN agencies and government representatives visited West Arsi zone to assess the situation. "A regional response plan on the basis of gaps identified by the [assessment] team is under preparation," said Sophie Yannoutsou, regional programme coordinator for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Oromiya.

So far, 44 treatment centres have been established in the affected areas in a bid to contain the outbreak and local authorities have been coordinating the response.

OCHA said the outbreak is believed to have been caused by lack of access to clean drinking water. The lack of appropriate awareness of hygiene procedures had also helped its spread.

The disease initially started in Gambella Region then spread to West Arsi zone, seriously affecting two districts - Shashamene and Arsi Negele.


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