AMMAN—Twenty-nine people have died in Syria from cholera, the United Nations said on Monday.
In a statement, Syria’s health ministry said rapid assessment tests had confirmed 338 cases since the outbreak was first documented last month, with the majority of deaths and cases occurring in the northern province of Aleppo.
230 cases occurred in Aleppo province, with 25 confirmed deaths. The rest spread across Syria.
The United Nations said earlier this month that it was believed to be linked to the use of polluted water to irrigate crops and people drinking unsafe water from the Euphrates River, which bisects Syria from north to east.
The highly contagious disease has also spread to Kurdish-held opposition areas in northern and northwestern Syria, displacing millions in a decade-long conflict, health officials say. said.
Suspected cholera cases in northeastern Syria have risen to 2,092, the US-based International Rescue Commission (IRC) working in the northern region said, adding fears of severe underreporting of cases. .
Western NGOs say access to safe drinking water is a major challenge for Syria. After widespread destruction of the country’s water infrastructure, he has 40% less drinking water than before the conflict began.
Water scarcity will be exacerbated by climate change.
The Syrian Civil Defense Force, a rescue worker operating in rebel territory, said on Monday that medical personnel reported the first three cases of cholera in the sprawling Kafr Rusin camp near the border with Turkey. Stated.
“This is a dangerous development for civilian life as the disease begins to spread rapidly, especially in the camps, in poor health conditions,” the Western-backed group said in a statement.
The United Nations has warned that cholera epidemics in densely populated areas could lead to high mortality. In the region, tens of thousands of Syrian refugees live in dire conditions with limited access to safe water and sanitation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) had already launched emergency shipments of medicines and chlorine tablets for water purification, officials said.
According to the WHO, before the recent cholera outbreak, water crises had increased problems such as diarrhea, malnutrition and skin conditions.
Suleiman Al Khalidi