Deadly Outbreak Of Acute Watery Diarrhea Spreads Through Horn Of Africa; Djibouti Hit Especially Hard

“Recurring drought, insufficient hygiene and ongoing regional conflict are driving a deadly outbreak of acute watery diarrhea (AWD) across the Horn of Africa, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) reported” on Tuesday, the U.N. News Centre writes. “WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva that more than 50,000 cases of AWD have been recorded in the region this year, resulting in over 700 deaths in Djibouti and Somalia,” the news service notes (11/22).

“Authorities in Djibouti have reported a serious outbreak of a potentially fatal diarrhea infection in the capital, with two deaths since October and 127 new cases this month,” according to the WHO, Agence France-Presse reports (11/22). According to the WHO, 5,000 cases of AWD have been reported in Djibouti so far this year, compared with 2,000 in 2010, Taiwan News reports (Chen, 11/23). “Jasarevic emphasized that prevention and contingency planning from WHO and the health ministry was already having an impact in Djibouti, with both entities providing training for health workers, pre-positioning oral rehydration salts and essential medicines, and chlorinating and monitoring water supplies,” the U.N. News Centre adds (11/22).