Since mid-December 2019, over 1045 cholera cases and at least 24 related deaths have been reported in SNNPR (Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region), Oromiya (Guji zone) and Somali (Shabelle zone) regions in Ethiopia. The most affected zones are South Omo and Gofa in SNNPR with 970 cases and 18 deaths.
Regional and local authorities have established emergency tasks forces and deployed rapid response teams with the help of international partners, including MSF, UNICEF, WHO as well as DG ECHO funded partners (IRC, PIN, UNICEF). Assessments of critical gaps and response coordination efforts are ongoing following alerts and government requests, including case management support by Regional Health Bureaus and INGOs.
In 2019 and before these latest episodes, a total of 2074 cholera cases had been reported, with all regions and administrative cities affected, except Gambella and Benishangul-Gumuz regions. Cholera outbreaks remain a major public threat in Ethiopia mainly due to poor living conditions, inadequate water and sanitation facilities and poor health and hygiene practices.