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News: Measles, Chickenpox cases reported in North Shewa and Waghemra IDP camps in Amhara region

IDPs in Weleh IDP camp . Picture: Wag Hemra Communication Affairs Bureau

Addis Abeba – Measles cases were reported in Berehet and Minjar woredas in North Shewa Zone of Amhara Region as well as in two IDP sites (China camp and Woinshet IDP site) in Debre Birhan city. Similarily, Chickenpox cases were also reported in Weleh IDP site in Waghemra Zone over the past three weeks, according to the UN.

A news analysis published last week by Addis Standard reported a health crisis and lack of food in three woredas in Wag Hemra zone. The Abergele woreda, in particular, is facing malaria, rabies and significant food shortages as well as severe Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) outbreak, which has resulted in the death of eight people to date, according to figures by the zonal health bureau.

The UN’s latest humanitarian report said that in Amhara region, a multi-agency assessment conducted at the Turkish IDP site in South Wollo Zone on 29 June revealed overcrowded living conditions and sub-standard basic services.

Measles cases were reported in Berehet and Minjar woredas in North Shewa Zone of Amhara Region as well as in two IDP sites (China camp and Woinshet IDP site) in Debre Birhan city

The site has been sheltering up to 3000 IDPs and refugees since April 2022. Assistance had been irregular and insufficient. There are no mobile health services, there is only one shower block and no waste management. Due to lack of latrines, people are reverting to open defecation which poses health risks. IDPs and refugees are also exposed to health and protection risks due to inadequate shelter. People are mostly sleeping under plastic sheets on concrete or bare ground in this rainy season. Food, health services, as well as Non Food items (NFIs) such as mattresses and hygiene items as well as clothes are priority needs. According to the shelter and NFI partners, 95,000 IDPs in Waghemra and North Wello Zones continue to experience poor living conditions and 40,500 returnees remain in temporary shelters or damaged houses.

Chickenpox cases were also reported in Weleh IDP site in Waghemra Zone over the past three weeks

Measles cases were reported in Berehet and Minjar woredas in North Shewa Zone of Amhara Region as well as in two IDP sites (China camp and Woinshet IDP site) in Debre Birhan city. Of 44 cases reported, 13 tested positive two weeks ago. Chickenpox cases were also reported in Weleh IDP site in Waghemra Zone over the past three weeks. More than 380 cases were confirmed, of whom 30 per cent is amongst children under five years.

Malaria cases are also on the rise since May 2022 with more than 540,000 cases reported to date across the region since a year ago, the majority in Central Gondar, South Gondar and West Gojam zones. The number of cases reported in the last week of June showed a 29 per cent increase compared to the previous week. Limited vector control supplies and improper use of nets are amongst the challenges for effective malaria control. Heavy rains pose a high risk for malaria and other water-borne diseases as the receding floodwaters have the potential to create stagnant water ponds, which provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. AS/UN

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