Publish date28 Sep 2022 - 16:04
Story Code : 567040

Cholera challenges displaced Syrians in Idlib camps

Cholera cases show concerning increase causing fears that the infectious disease might turn into a serious challenge for thousands of displaced Syrians in Idlib camps.
Cholera challenges displaced Syrians in Idlib camps
Syrian Health Minister said on Monday that the cholera outbreak has killed at least 29 people, while the total number of confirmed infections through rapid testing has reached 338 since the outbreak of the disease was first recorded last month.

Meanwhile another health official announced last week that the number of suspected cholera cases reached 2,867, of which 78 were confirmed, while the number of deaths reached 16.

The official, Joan Mustafa, told reporters that the outbreak is linked to the presence of bacteria responsible for cholera in the waters of the Euphrates River, the river's water level has suffered a serious decline because of climate change and is, in many areas, transforming into swamp land.

“I tried as much as possible to protect my family from cholera, but I failed,” said Nader, a 40-year-old civilian who lives in the city of al-Hasakah in northeast Syria. “The lack of treated drinking water through water stations and the irrigation of vegetables from the Euphrates River were the main cause of cholera infecting my wife and child.”

Nearly 30 percent of the population in Syria relies on the Euphrates for drinking water, according to the UN.

Cholera usually appears in residential areas that suffer from scarcity of drinking water or lack of sanitation systems, and is often caused by eating contaminated food or water and leads to diarrhea and vomiting.

The cholera crisis is partly a result of the effects of climate change but also a consequence of the civil war, which has been raging for more than a decade.
According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the war has damaged two-thirds of water treatment plants, half of pumping stations and one-third of water towers.

Nearly half the population relies on alternative and often unsafe sources of water while at least 70 percent of sewage goes untreated, UNICEF said.
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