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WaterAid: “Cholera Cases Could Double In The Next Two Decades

WaterAid: “Cholera Cases Could Double In The Next Two Decades

The non-governmental organisation (NGO) working in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector, WaterAid, issued a stark warning that the current cholera crisis is a pandemic that puts more than 1 billion people in the world at risk.

“Storms caused by climate change, conflict and financial crises, along with migration, have created an unprecedented global cholera crisis causing large-scale outbreaks in countries that for many years were free of this highly contagious disease,” said WaterAid Mozambique Country Director Adam Garley.

In the specific case of Mozambique, Adam Garley said that “the recent floods in Boane district, Maputo province, have left a trail of destroyed infrastructures and a high number of homeless people, which leaves a serious reflection on the impact of climate change on the provision of water, sanitation, hygiene, urban planning and health management services”.

According to WaterAid, Cyclone Freddy caused catastrophic flooding in both Mozambique and Malawi, countries that have severe cholera outbreaks creating an acute risk of exacerbating the spread of the disease.

“Population growth and rapid, unplanned urbanisation could lead to a doubling of cholera cases over the next 20 years if urgent action is not taken,” the source warned.

The director added that outbreaks tend to follow the annual cycle of the rainy season and disproportionately affect communities that lack access to basic sanitation and clean water.

“In areas struggling with the current outbreak, the lack of infrastructure and resources for public health education and awareness campaigns is making it difficult to control the spread of the disease. Such crises are likely to be exacerbated by climate change as rainfall patterns become increasingly intense and unpredictable,” he detailed.

Like the covid-19 pandemic, the current cholera outbreak underlines the urgent need for governments to invest in water, sanitation and safe hygiene behaviours, these being essential elements and the only long-term solution to ending this costly cycle of disease and death, Adam Garley said.

“Improved access to sustainable water and sanitation services will not only serve to control cholera, but will also help stop the spread of a range of other waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea, which is responsible for 20 per cent of hospital admissions in Mozambique, and is the second leading cause of death in children under five,” he concluded.

Diário Económico


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