Over 115 dead in cholera outbreak in Somalia
A cholera outbreak in Somalia has killed more than 115 people and hospitalised 724, medical officers said.Updated: Feb 07, 2007, 18:50 IST
A cholera outbreak in Somalia has killed more than 115 people and hospitalised 724, medical officers said on Wednesday, while the capital was hit by more violence.
Tests conducted by the international medical aid group Medecins Sans Frontiers confirmed the cholera outbreak in towns along the Shabelle river.
The river flooded earlier this year, leaving tens of thousands homeless in a country with little ability to respond because it lacks effective government.
"At least 115 people, 53 of them children, have died from cholera in four districts in the last four weeks," said Dr Abdulahi Hussein Malin, who works in a hospital in Jowhar, 90 kilometres north of Mogadishu.
Infants have been especially affected, said Dr Hawo Abdi Mumin, who works with the Somali Red Crescent Society.
"People use water from the river, which is contaminated because of the floods, because they have no access to clean water," she said.
In the capital, Mogadishu, four people were killed on the streets by unidentified gunmen in separate incidents, police said. The motive in each case was not immediately clear.
Unidentified attackers fired a mortar round near the presidential residence in the Somali capital late on Tuesday, said Ali Sa'id Hassan Awale, the police chief of Mogadishu. No one was injured.
The city has seen spiraling violence over the past month following the ouster of Somalia's Islamic movement that controlled the capital and much of southern Somalia.