Children at risk from cholera outbreak in Syria: Save the Children
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Thousands of children across eastern and northern Syria are at risk from a rapidly spreading outbreak of cholera caused by water shortages, Save the Children said on Tuesday.
Save the Children said in a press statement that at least 24 people have died from the water-borne disease and several thousand suspected cases have been reported across the country as of 19 September.
Read More: Syria Kurds seek UN help after cholera deaths reported
“The outbreak coincides with the return to school for many children in Syria this month, putting both children’s health and education at risk,” Save the Children said.
The organization said that the current outbreak is understood to be caused by communities drinking infected water and food irrigated by the Euphrates River, which is experiencing historic low levels of flow mainly due to Syria’s worst drought in decades.
Read More: UN concerned over draught and cholera outbreak in Syria
The United Nations also last week expressed serious concern over the ongoing cholera outbreak in Syria and increasing water shortages.
Moreover, Save the Children said that sewage from communities located along the river bank largely ends up in the Euphrates River, increasing the possibility for illness and disease to spread.
Nearly half of the people in Syria rely on often unsafe water sources to meet or complement their daily water needs, it added.
"We are looking at a major outbreak if we do not act now, an outbreak which is already exacerbating the protection needs of children across Syria, adding to their suffering,” Beat Rohr, Save the Children’s Interim Country Director said in a public statement.
“Children who have family adult members and caregivers getting sick and the family’s income disrupted are particularly vulnerable. Further disruption to children’s education is another concern in this crisis, adding even more challenges for children in Syria to continue their learning.”
Read More: Turkey continues to cut off water to Hasakah city: SANA agency
Moreover, there have been reports that Turkey continues to cut off water to 500,000 people in Hasakah city and its environment.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths during a briefing to the UN Security Council on Sept 14 called on all relevant parties to facilitate reliable access to safe water.
“Otherwise, we’ll see more of those cases of cholera, we will see more damage to the health system, we will see more problems arising out of the absence of reliable electricity.”