Reported on: September 22, 2011 16:05 PM
Reported in: National
Dhaka, Sept 22 (UNB) – A team of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), an international health research institution in Dhaka, is providing its help to famine-hit people to fight cholera in Somalia.
On September 11, the ICDDR,B emergency cholera response team travelled from their base in Nairobi to Somalia’s beleaguered capital Mogadishu to begin a 10-day training programme.
Based at the city’s largest hospital and working under the banner of Muslim Aid, Dr Azharul Khan, Dr PK Bardhan, and nursing officer Momtaz Beghum shared their expertise in the treatment of cholera and other causes of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) with healthcare workers and local NGOs, said an ICDDR,B press release.
Dr Azharul Khan said together with malnutrition and malaria, AWD has become a major health threat in the famine-stricken country. He said ‘huge AWD patients’ are seeking medical assistance daily.
On Tuesday, the team returned to Nairobi for debriefing sessions with partner NGOs.
An expert team from ICDDR,B reached Kenya on September 1 to assist the international community in tackling cholera outbreak in neighbouring Somalia.
Working with WHO and Unicef, their goal is to review the existing control and prevention guidelines, and provide training to health personnel and auxiliary staff from about 70 NGOs and government organisations.
According to Unicef, almost five million people in famine-stricken southern Somalia are at risk of cholera and acute diarrhoea due to malnutrition, lack of access to clean water, poor sanitation and hygiene, population movements and crowding in displaced sites.
Years of civil war have torn Somalia’s health infrastructure apart, leading to extremely poor sanitary conditions in which the cholera bacteria can spread.