Cholera, diarrhea present deadly risk to tens of thousands of children - UNICEF

| Updated Jul 05, 2017 at 5:00am


Photo: UNICEF/HTIA2011-00113/Dormino.


The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is calling for funds to help provide clean water and sanitation to vulnerable communities.

Yemen is in the grip of the world's worst outbreak of cholera, but diarrhea diseases and malnutrition are also endangering the lives of tens of thousands of children in South Sudan, Somalia and Sudan.

That warning from the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, comes amid ongoing violence and insecurity in all four countries, which have left communities close to famine and obstructed aid access.

UNICEF's Christophe Boulierac said that the combination of cholera and malnutrition was deadly:
"Because children whose immune systems are compromised by malnutrition are particularly vulnerable to these diarrheal diseases… You can cure a child of cholera but children will keep getting sick if they keep drinking dirty water, hence the need to do the most in the field of water sanitation."

In Somalia, 53,000 cases of cholera have been recorded.

That's 10 times more than in 2015.

Sudan has over 20,000 suspected cases of acute watery diarrhea which has claimed more than 400 lives so far this year.

South Sudan, meanwhile, has identified nearly 6,900 suspected cholera sufferers, the highest figure since 2014.

UN Radio/GBC