Diarrhea outbreak affects thousands in Ethiopia’s NW region: official

by Xinhua

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Transitional housing for Somali refugees in Dolo Ado, Ethiopia. Creative Commons Photo courtesy of UNICEF Ethiopia.

ADDIS ABABA – Residents of Ethiopia’s second largest region, Amhara regional state, have been cautioned by a local health official against an outbreak of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD).

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Amhara Regional State Health Bureau official Teklehaimanot Gebrehiwot said that more than 3,000 people were infected with the disease over the past four months.

According to Gebrehiwot, the major reason for the spread of the acute watery diarrhea disease in the region is the consumption of unhygienic food and poor personal hygiene practices, which was exacerbated by the approaching major rainy season.

Gebrehiwot, however, indicated that majority of the infected individuals were treated from the disease and sent back home as the outbreak covered 62 districts in the Amhara region alone, Ethiopia’s second largest northwestern regional state.

With Ethiopia’s rainy season stretching from late June to early September already underway, the region’s health bureau warned community members to stay vigilant to avoid the spread of the infectious diarrhea.

Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa administration had also recently cautioned its residents to remain alert against the acute watery diarrhea disease.

Addis Ababa Mayor Diriba Kuma, speaking in a ceremony highlighting the city administration’s efforts against AWD last month, urged city dwellers to keep vigilant during the pick rainy season, from late June to early September.

An outbreak of AWD had caused a health scare last year in the capital Addis Ababa and other Ethiopian regions, which resulted in the death of several people prior to a collaborative government supported health campaign eradicated the outbreak

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