Ethiopia starts Cholera vaccination

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The Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) disclosed that over 700 thousand vaccinations have been imported to start vaccinating people against Cholera next week now that people have died and the disease has been confirmed in four regions and Addis Ababa.
According to EPHI, the epidemic is caused by Vibrio cholera which the institute has confirmed by taking samples from 12 people in four regions.
EPHI reported that, Vibrio cholera caused 15 people to lose their life. This included a single person in Oromia and 14 in Amhara regional states and around 400 people in Oromiya, Amhara, Tigray, and Somali regional states are suspected of having the illness.
Beyene Moges, Deputy Vice Director of the institute says the highest number of cases are reported from Oromia (138), including Harerge zone, Chiro and Oda Bulti wereda in western Oromiya in addition to Bedesa in Oromia regional states where a single person lost his life.
In Addis Ababa a total of 13 Cholera cases are reported from Akaki Kality, Addis Ketema and Nifas-silk Lafto sub cities. Those people are being treated.
Eight cases have been also reported, Kilete Awlao wereda in Eastern part of Tigray and 33 in Beklomay wereda in Somalia regional states.
“All necessary and available medical equipment has been distributed through the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Funds and Supply Agency for quick prevention mechanism,” Moges added.
The vaccination is given to those considered highly venerable, including street children, people in prison and in camps where Internally Displaced People are sheltered.
The institute advised to take precautionary measures to reduce the risk of contracting cholera, by washing hands regularly, drinking only bottled or purified water, and avoid eating raw or under cooked foods.
The institute advised the public to help prevent the spread of the disease by drinking safe water, washing hands with soap and using latrines properly.
Vibrio cholera is one of the viruses that cause “AWD” which the government previously hesitated to label when previous outbreaks occurred. However Minister of Health Amir Aman (MD) named the epidemic cholera and AWD during last Thursday’s discussion at the Prime Minister’s Office.
According to the Deputy Director, a nationwide task force has been established under the Ministry of Health and Office of the Mayor of Addis Ababa to prevent and treat the epidemic.
Refugee and internal displacement camps host people in crowded, unsanitary conditions, creating breeding grounds for the disease to spread.
Cholera remains a global threat to public health and an indicator of inequality and lack of social development.
Researchers have estimated that every year, there are roughly 1.3 to 4 million cases, and 21, 000 to 143,000 deaths worldwide due to Cholera.