More than 400 people have been infected with cholera over the last 10 days in Spera district of Khost province, the site of a deadly earthquake that struck six weeks ago, officials said on Sunday.
Mohammad Nabi Zadran, head of a mobile health team in Khost, said that eight people have died of cholera in Spera district, including five children and three adults.
Most of those infected are women and children. Officials said cholera is reported also in Gyan and Barmal districts of Paktika province.
“They should assist us. Foreign countries should assist us as we are suffering,” said Abdullah Noor, a resident of Spera district.
Health officials said that efforts are ongoing to control the spread of the disease.
Fazl Karim, Khost’s health director, said that a total of 40 mobile health teams were deployed to fight the cholera outbreak.
The UN agency for children also said this week that after the recent earthquake there is an increased risk of an outbreak of diseases like cholera in Spera district in Khost.
“Thanks to the support from USAID, we have been able to provide safe drinking water to 1,500 of the most vulnerable families,” UNICEF said on Twitter.
Uganda confirms at least 1 case of Ebola hemorrhagic fever
Ugandan health authorities on Tuesday reported that a man who died a day earlier had tested positive for the virus that causes Ebola.
They said it’s still unknown how the man became infected with Ebola. He lived in the central Ugandan district of Mubende, about 150 kilometers west of the capital, Kampala, AP reported.
“We are right now gathering more information on the possible source of infection,” said the statement from the Ministry of Health, which referred to a potential new outbreak because six other people in the same area — including three children — died earlier in September after suffering what local officials had called a strange illness.
The confirmed Ebola victim was initially treated for other illnesses, including malaria and pneumonia, when he sought care in his hometown, the statement said.
Ebola, which is spread by contact with bodily fluids of an infected person or contaminated materials, manifests as a deadly hemorrhagic fever. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain and at times internal and external bleeding.
Uganda has had multiple Ebola outbreaks, including one in 2000 that killed hundreds.
Last month authorities in Congo said a new case of the Ebola virus in the eastern city of Beni was linked to a previous outbreak.
Congo’s 10th outbreak of Ebola in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri killed more than 2,000 people from 2018 to 2020. During that time, neighboring Uganda reported some cases that authorities said were linked to the outbreak in Congo.
Nationwide polio vaccination campaign kicks off
A nationwide polio vaccination campaign was launched in all provinces of the country on Monday, public health ministry officials said.
The campaign will run for four days and 9.9 million children under the age of five are expected to be vaccinated against the wild polio virus, the ministry said.
This comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) said last week that since August 2021, more than 86.7 million doses of polio vaccine have been administered to Afghan children.
The organization said on Wednesday that more than nine million children received this number of vaccines during eight vaccination campaigns across Afghanistan.
“Ending polio in Afghanistan brings us closer to a polio-free world. We won’t stop until it’s done,” WHO tweeted.
The World Health Organization has emphasized that since the beginning of this year, only one case of polio has been recorded in the country.
Donation from Catalan Agency boosts WFP’s efforts to fight malnutrition
The European Union’s Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation (ACCD) has contributed EUR 290,000 to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) fund for acutely malnourished children and mothers across Afghanistan.
Thanks to this funding, more than 8,000 malnourished women and children in the areas of highest need will be supported with specialized nutritious foods for treatment of malnutrition by the end of the year, WFP reported.
“We are seeing the highest levels of moderate acute malnutrition ever recorded in Afghanistan. Today, 3.9 million children and 800,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women are acutely malnourished,” said Mary-Ellen McGroarty, WFP Representative and Country Director.
After one year of unprecedented economic hardship and environmental disasters like earthquakes and flooding, vulnerable families across the country have lost their livelihoods and largely exhausted their means to feed themselves.
Nearly 19 million people do not know where their next meal will come from and 6 million of them are facing Emergency levels of hunger and only one step away from famine.
“The record malnutrition rates we are seeing in Afghanistan go hand in hand with unprecedented levels of hunger. Life for most Afghans continues to be unbearably hard, particularly for women and girls,” said McGroarty.
“We thank Catalonia for this generous contribution that expresses solidarity and strong commitment to life-saving nutrition treatment for the women and children of Afghanistan,” she added.
Malnutrition in pregnancy can lead to many risks and complications, including stillbirths, low birthweights, and developmental delays. It can also become a cyclical pattern through generations, as problems at birth due to lack of essential nutrients can lead to lifelong consequences.
Between January and June 2022, WFP’s nutritional programmes reached over 690,000 malnourished children and over 435,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women. WFP aims to reach more than 1 million children under the age of five and more than 500,000 pregnant and nursing women by the end of the year.
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