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Cholera Hits Southern Somalia


Cholera compounded by drought has swept through villages in southern Somalia, leaving more than 110 people dead in the last two days, local authorities said Wednesday.

More than 70 people have died of the highly infectious disease in southern Bay Region's Ufatest commune in the last two days, said commune chairman Madey Mukhtar Ali.

At least 40 residents of the nearby village of Bulo Addey have died of the ailment since Tuesday.

Local authorities in the Bay Region said the search for food and water amid the three-year drought has weakened thousands of people, making them vulnerable to the disease, which is spread by contaminated water.

A 30-member delegation of mainly businessmen and traditional leaders was en route to the Bay Region's hard-hit Qansahdhere district on Wednesday to deliver medicine.

Bay region Gov. Mohamed Ali Aden Qalinleh pleaded Wednesday for outside assistance to stem the epidemic.

Few international aid organizations operate in conflict-ridden Somalia, which has had no central government since 1991.


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