SOHR: Syria Kurds seek UN aid after three die of cholera
The Kurdish administration in northern and eastern Syria announced on Saturday that three people had died from cholera and appealed for outside assistance to stop the outbreak.
Health officials issued a warning about “a substantial number of cholera cases in Raqa province and the western countryside of Deir Ezzor province.”
Diarrhea and vomiting are common symptoms of cholera, which is typically spread by tainted water or food. It can spread in residential areas without sufficient sewage systems or main water supplies.
The Kurdish government requested assistance from foreign organisations, “particularly the World Health Organization,” to stop the spread of cholera.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the Syrian health ministry also disclosed 15 cases of cholera in Aleppo province, which is largely under government control.
They are now receiving medical care in a hospital, it stated.
The disease had spread to western Deir Ezzor, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, after local officials stopped adding chlorine to water pumping stations.
The British monitoring group, which has a large network of sources in Syria, reported that hundreds of locals were reportedly experiencing headaches, diarrhoea, and vomiting.
The Deir Ezzor water authority has begun distributing 1,000 litres (264 gallons) of chlorine to water stations in rural areas of the province, the Kurdish administration said.
Syria’s water supply and sewage facilities have been destroyed by a civil conflict that has lasted more than ten years.
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 nationwide.
According to UNICEF, about 50% of the population relies on alternate, frequently dangerous water sources, and at least 70% of sewage is not treated.
For the first time since 2015, cholera outbreaks this summer in neighbouring Iraq.