UNICEF reports rise in cholera deaths in 11 African countries

UNICEF reports rise in cholera deaths in 11 African countries

Baku, March 11, AZERTAC

Eleven countries in eastern and southern Africa are currently experiencing an exponential rise in cholera cases amid a surge in deaths, said the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Friday, according to Xinhua.

UNICEF said the 11 countries are experiencing an extremely worrying cholera outbreak with 67,822 cases and 1,788 estimated deaths, noting that actual figures are likely higher as limitations in surveillance systems, underreporting, and stigma hamper monitoring.

UNICEF Deputy Regional Director Lieke van de Wiel said poor water and sanitation, extreme weather events, ongoing conflicts, and weak health systems are compounding and endangering the lives of children across southern Africa.

"We thought this region won't see a cholera outbreak this widespread and this deadly in this day and age," she said in a statement issued in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

UNICEF is appealing for 150 million U.S. dollars for all 11 cholera outbreak countries in the region, including 34.9 million dollars for Malawi and 21.6 million dollars for Mozambique, to provide lifesaving services to a total of 5.4 million people affected by the outbreak.

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