Somalian cholera outbreak kills 20

Doctors are reporting that an outbreak of cholera in Somalia’s war-torn capital has killed more than 20 people.

Dr. Lul Mohamed recently said that Banadir maternity hospital in Mogadishu has been inundated with more than 150 cases of the diarrheal disease. She said the hospital is low on supplies as well as the cash needed to pay the hospital’s workers, according to the AP.

Many of the victims are apparently children coming from camps for displaced families, many of whom have had to flee their homes after weeks of government-led offensives against insurgents.

Deputy health minister Osman Liban said he was unaware of the cholera outbreak, the AP reports, but promised that there would be an investigation into it.

Somalia has been operating without a functioning government for the last 20 years. The arid nation located on the horn of Africa has been suffering from a drought and there are few sources of clean water.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the cholera bacterium is usually found in water or food sources that have been contaminated by feces from a person infected with cholera. Cholera is therefore most likely to be spread in places that are lacking in adequate water treatment, sanitation and hygiene.