UNICEF warns against second wave of Horn of Africa deaths - Africa

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has warned against a second wave of deaths from various diseases in the Horn of Africa. 'One hundred days after the famine was declared in parts of southern Somalia, UNICEF and its partners are unable to prevent a second wave of deaths from various diseases, in the conflict’.

United Nations Children's Fund warned: 'This second wave could be deadlier than the first. UNICEF Regional Director for east and southern Africa, As Sy said, 'The current rainfall will relieve some areas affected by drought in Somalia and neighboring countries. But they will lead to an increased risk of epidemics and will hamper relief efforts’.

UNICEF warns against second wave of Horn of Africa deaths

He said the renewed fighting throughout southern Somalia made the partners' operations more difficult as they strived to deliver essential supplies to children and families. He indicated that these factors may worsen the humanitarian crisis in Somalia and the region.

Mr. Sy said UNICEF would intensify its efforts to reach children where they were and mitigate the impact of a situation that kept deteriorating. In Mogadishu, Somalia, a measles vaccination campaign supported by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) was launched this week for 750,000 children aged six months to 15 years.

Since famine was declared in July, more than a million children had been vaccinated against measles in Somalia, said the statement, which warned that children with severe malnutrition were nine times more likely to die of an infectious disease such as measles, cholera and malaria, than healthy children.

According to UNICEF, the number of measles cases has soared this year. In July, when the famine was declared, there were seven times more deaths from measles than in the same month in 2010.

Since the famine was declared on 20 July, centers supported by UNICEF had treated nearly 110,000 severely malnourished children throughout the region.

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