Cholera, hunger kills 51 more in Somalia

Cholera, hunger kills 51 more in Somalia
# 28 September 2011 22:18 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Cholera and severe malnutrition have claimed 51 more lives in Somalia as the conflict-plagued nation struggles against drought and famine, APA reports quoting Press TV.

Doctor Abukar Sheikh told Press TV that the victims died on Wednesday evening in Baidoa town, located some 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of the capital Mogadishu.

Over 429 people, suffering from cholera and waterborne diseases, also flocked local hospitals for medical treatment.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned on Wednesday that the humanitarian situation remains "highly critical" in Somalia.

"The situation in Somalia remains highly critical. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis are still displaced from their homes in search of security and food," the ICRC said in a statement.

The Geneva-based humanitarian institution added, "Although humanitarian aid has started to reach the drought- and conflict-affected people, many are still struggling to survive."

“Much of the livestock has been decimated and there is no hope for an improvement in the situation until the next harvest in December," it added.

Meanwhile, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said on Wednesday that four million Somalis are in crisis, with some 750,000 at risk of dying in the next four months.

The UN body added it is also feared that the rains will also raise the risk of diseases.

"The onset of rains anticipated in October could fuel the spread of cholera, measles and malaria, thereby leading to more deaths in a population already weakened by conflict and famine," OCHA noted.

The UN agency also pointed out that food deliveries have reached some 1.85 million people as of last week. The figure is almost half of those in need.

According to the United Nations, drought, high food prices and fighting in Somalia have increased the number of those in need of humanitarian assistance across the Horn of Africa to 13.3 million.