Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Despite 4,200 confirmed cases, Iraq, UN say cholera outbreak under control

Since August there have been about 4,200 laboratory-confirmed cases of cholera and 21 deaths form the disease. Still, United Nation agencies and the Iraqi government say that the outbreak is under control, IRIN, a U.N. humanitarian news service, reported Tuesday.

“Iraqis have adhered to the rules to guarantee their safety against cholera and numbers have dropped dramatically; in addition, more than 70 percent of reported cases are being treated with success,” said Taha Abdallah, a senior official at the Ministry of Health.

“There are some areas where sanitation is poor and there is a deficit of potable water, leaving residents in a more dangerous situation, but we are working hard to contain the problem. And with the end of the summer season, the possible spread of the disease is lower,” Abdallah added. “An intense campaign was developed among displaced families to prevent the spread of the disease among the most vulnerable.”

According to the article: “The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Health Organization (WHO) are urgently calling on all Iraqis to follow the preventive measures, which are simple and affordable and have proved to be effective in warding off the risk of a cholera outbreak. So far 39 districts in 11 provinces have been affected, according to the Ministry of Health.”

Even though number of cholera cases has declined, the article says that “both UNICEF and the WHO have continued their support for local health units by providing technical support, training on case management, outbreak investigation and containment. The two UN agencies have also been supporting awareness and hygiene promotion campaigns in the country.”

For the full article, click here.

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