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EU allocates €1M to combat cholera outbreak as death toll in Ethiopia mounts to above 500

In February this year WHO sets up 17 Standard Cholera Treatment Centers in Ethiopia to Combat Cholera Outbreak. Photo: WHO

Addis Abeba – The EU has allocated emergency humanitarian funding of €1 million to help Ethiopia address the cholera outbreak currently affecting the country.

Since August 2022, when the cholera epidemic first broke out, Ethiopia has reported a cumulative total of 44,044 cases, including 571 deaths, the EU said.

Ethiopia’s ongoing cholera outbreak picked up an unprecedented pace since March 2023, with over 2,276 cases and 50 deaths, putting 3.3 million people at risk. A subsequent report in May 2023 revealed nearly 6,200 cases across 54 areas, resulting in 94 deaths and endangering 7 million people. By early August, the cases had continued to rise, with over 16,800 reported cases and more than 370 deaths mainly in the Oromia, Sidama, and Somali regions.

In February this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) set up 17 standard cholera treatment centers across Ethiopia, including the capital Addis Abeba and the Dire Dawa City Administration as well as Afar Amhara, Central Ethiopia, Oromia, Sidama, and Southwest Ethiopia Peoples’ Regional States.

The spread index since April has reached over 600 cases reported weekly, across 9 regions, the EU said. “The response to the outbreak is hampered by a combination of drought and unseasonal rainfall, which is expected to result in an increase in cases.”

EU’s latest emergency funding will support humanitarian partners in addressing needs related to water, hygiene, sanitation, and health, both at institutional and community levels, while strengthening the coordination of the cholera response in targeted areas.

The EU had previously allocated €1 million in emergency aid for the cholera outbreak in Ethiopia in November 2023. AS

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