Suspected cholera devastates families in Somaliland

Burao, Somaliland , 3 July 2017 – The rains that have brought some relief from the prolonged drought in Somaliland, have led to a devastating outbreak of Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera which has affected thousands of people – a third of them children.

In Burao, one of the largest towns in Somaliland, more than 100 cases are coming in each day to the Cholera Treatment Center (CTC) which has doubled in size.

Mahamed Abdirahman Ali rushed to the CTC with his father, wife and four of his 12 children who all fell sick with diarrhoea and vomiting. Sadly it was too late for three of his children aged two months, three years and six years who all died. One daughter, Najma survived out of the four children who came to the CTC. The family had no idea that the waste water coming from the nearby slaughterhouse was contaminated by bacteria which causes cholera and they should have treated their drinking water with purification tablets known as aquatabs.

“We did not know that we had to treat our drinking water with aquatabs. Now we use them of course but it is too late for three of my children,” said Mohamed Abdi.

Abdi Omar Hirsi, a father of 10 children came to the centre with four of his children and his wife Saynab all suffering from AWD/cholera. One child aged just two days, his son aged four years and a daughter aged 18 months died while his wife and nine year old daughter are recovering.

“When I have aquatabs I use them but otherwise I use the bark of the acacia tree which… read full story