November 7th, 2015 19:40 EST
UN Fights Cholera Outbreak in Iraq
With the cholera spreading further in Iraq, the United Nations Children`s Fund (UNICEF), which is providing assistance Iraqi health authorities, has today urged accelerated action to shield communities and families from the outbreak, which has already infected more than 2,000 people across the country.
There is unfortunately a high risk that cholera will reach more areas of Iraq, affecting marginalized and displaced children, women and their families in particular, so we have to act fast, " UNICEF Representative in Iraq Peter Hawkins said in a statement released today.
UNICEF is part of urgent efforts underway to protect communities and families from the effects of a cholera outbreak that has already infected more than 2,200 people " about 20 per cent of them children " across 15 of the country`s 18 governorates.
With concern rising that the disease could spread further, UNICEF " alongside the World Health Organisation (WHO) " indicates that it has provided support to the Iraqi Ministry of Health, delivered and secured clean water supplies, offered treatment for people with cholera symptoms, and undertaken a national communication campaign to help people protect themselves against the disease.
Heavy rains in late October inundated several areas of the country considered vulnerable to the spread of cholera, " addressing in the statement, UNICEF also mentioned that 65,000 residents near Baghdad had been affected by the overflow sewage system due to the extensive flooding.
According to the statement, since the cholera outbreak was confirmed in mid-September, UNICEF has supported the distribution of bottled water to 37,000 people, and water trucking at a rate of 100,000 litres per day, benefitting 5,000 people. Community water tanks sufficient for 15,500 people have been installed, and family water and hygiene kits distributed to 44,250 families. "
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