In an appeal for $178 million to support humanitarian aid in the seven affected countries of the Greater Horn region, veterans WHO activist Liesbeth Aelbrecht warned that the situation was worse than anything he’s seen over two decades in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda.
“These 48 million people include approximately 129,000 people facing disaster; and mayhem, that means they’re facing starvation and literally staring death in the eyeMs. Elbrecht told reporters in Geneva. Those most at risk are living in both South Sudan and Somalia.
“You can talk about IPC levels and all that, but this is what it means,” she said Food Insecurity Assessment Index used to assess levels of humanitarian aid.
According to the World Health Organisation, in addition to the dramatic hunger crisis, the region has never seen a higher number of disease outbreaks this century.
“All Seven countries are battling measlesA deadly disease,” Ms Albrecht said, before highlighting that people suffering from malnutrition are more vulnerable to getting sick than people who have enough to eat.
,Four countries are fighting cholera, South Sudan is one of them; They just declared an outbreak. Malaria, which we know is endemic in the region and remains the biggest cause of (medical) consultations, is actually on the rise.
Dengue first in Sudan’s capital
The Greater Horn region is also vulnerable to concurrent outbreaks of hepatitis, meningitis and dengue, which was first announced Khartoum in February.
“The frequency of outbreaks of these diseases is directly linked to these extreme weather events and climate change,” said the WHO official. “I’ve been working in this area for about 25 years – and in terms of accumulated emergencies, this is as bad as I’ve ever seen.”
In response to the emergency, the UN health agency intends to use its $178 million appeal to treat people suffering from medical complications associated with severe malnutrition.
WHO’s appeal will also help ensure that the health system does not collapse by providing mobile health clinics, as increasingly desperate rural communities leave their homes and move to cities.
“We need to do whatever it takes to control these disease outbreaks,” Ms. Albrecht said. “We know how to control cholera, we just need the resources to really scale it up.”