World Health Organization (WHO) Ethiopia rapidly scales up response to contain cholera outbreak in Southern Nations Nationalities and People’s (SNNP) Region

World Health Organization (WHO) Ethiopia rapidly scales up response to contain cholera outbreak in Southern Nations Nationalities and People’s (SNNP) Region

<div>World Health Organization (WHO) Ethiopia rapidly scales up response to contain cholera outbreak in Southern Nations Nationalities and People's (SNNP) Region</div>
<div>World Health Organization (WHO) Ethiopia rapidly scales up response to contain cholera outbreak in Southern Nations Nationalities and People's (SNNP) Region</div>

World Health Organization (WHO) - Ethiopia

Upon arrival at the site, you will notice a sizable Cholera treatment center. The World Health Organization (WHO) has swiftly responded to the Cholera outbreak in the Konso Zone and Alle Special Woreda of the Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ Region of Ethiopia by establishing Cholera Treatment Centers (CTCs) in four districts. These facilities act as referral centers where patients can receive urgent, high-quality medical attention to decrease the number of deaths resulting from cholera-related illnesses. WHO is implementing all recommended interventions to control the current cholera outbreak.

The Cholera outbreak in Ethiopia started in August 2022 in the Oromia region and later spread to other areas, including the SNNP region, since March 2023  and has been a growing concern.  

As of now, the outbreak has reached 42 districts in SNNP and has resulted in over 4,000 cases. To address this, the government and other partners are working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide ongoing support to the affected areas.

Recognizing the urgency of the situation, WHO deployed technical experts to the affected areas and conducted capacity-building training on cholera outbreak management. This comprehensive approach ensures that medical professionals are equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively treat patients and put measures in place to prevent further transmission.

Establishing cholera treatment centres (CTCs) has brought much-needed relief to the affected communities. Now, individuals suffering from cholera have a haven where they can receive the quality medical attention they require, reducing the risk of complications and deaths fatalities. The CTCs are operating at full capacity, with an average of 10 or more people being treated daily since their construction a week ago.

A community representative from Kolme District in Konso Zone said, “I want to express our appreciation to WHO for helping us. The Cholera Treatment Center is very important to us because it offers shelter to our patients and health workers. We are grateful for WHO’s assistance.”

The outbreak has been triggered by poor sanitation, unpredictable water supplies and food insecurity. Despite efforts to respond to the situation, significant challenges and gaps remain. This includes limited support from partners in affected areas, resulting in inadequate support compared to the needs on the ground. Moreover, subpar case management methods and ineffectual risk communication strategies are being utilized.  

To tackle these challenges, WHO coordinates with partners and mobilises additional resources, rental vehicles, and water treatment chemicals to support the response efforts. 

 According to WHO Ethiopia representative a.i., it is crucial for all parties involved to work together in order to contain the outbreak and save lives effectively. 

WHO expresses gratitude for the invaluable support from USAID/BHA and the Central Emergency Response Fund/CERF, whose contributions have enabled the provision of timely aid in areas where it is most needed.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of World Health Organization (WHO) – Ethiopia.