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2015.11.19

Cholera epidemic in Iraq

Another disaster has hit the people of Iraq. While the state situation is far from stabilized and life quality is still insufficient, cholera – a disease that disappeared from Iraq a long time ago – has now re-emerged.

According to the Iraqi Ministry of Health, over 300 infected individuals and 5 deaths have been reported. However, the actual situation seems to be far worse than this. The number of infected people is believed to be larger.

The cholera epidemic was mainly caused by ingestion of water that is not suitable for drinking. This was caused by other implications with the public water supply. Another reason is that people were dumping garbage on the streets and in the residential quarters, because they could not find a place to bury them.

Cholera is a contagious disease that can cause death within hours if it is not treated. However, 80% of those infected can be saved if they are given oral rehydration salt (ORA), as recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).

We can stop the spread of the epidemic by coordinating efforts to improve hygienic conditions, especially by providing clean drinking water and foods not contaminated by germs. A hygiene awareness campaign to change people’s mindset towards hygiene is also necessary.

JEN is making a booklet about cholera and sending it to elementary and junior high school students, as well as providing training for teachers and students to raise awareness about personal hygiene.

[Booklets distributed by JEN]
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November 19, 2015 in Iraq |