Mogadishu — Crisis-laden Somalia has embarked on a massive oral vaccination exercise following the deadliest outbreak of cholera killing over 269 000 this year. The deaths from an epidemic with a case-fatality rate of 2,5% have been reported across the country. An oral vaccination campaign (OVC) is now underway, targeting over 450 000 people in seven high-risk areas around the country. It is the first OCV campaign to be conducted in the country, coming at a critical time after Somalia declared the drought a national disaster and the East African country facing the possibility of another famine. "This is one of the largest oral cholera vaccination campaigns conducted in Africa," said Dr Ghulam Popal, World Health Organisation representative in Somalia. "This vaccination campaign will contribute to the reduction in the number of new cholera cases, interrupt transmission and limit the spread of cholera." The campaign is being held in select communities in Mogadishu, Kismayo and Beledweyne. The vaccines are administered to at-risk persons aged one year or older. Somalia has long experienced a humanitarian emergency due to conflict, insecurity, displacement and limited access to health system. Drought, malnutrition and lack of access to clean water and sanitation facilities are compounding the crises. - CAJ News
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