WHO and its health partners urgently need support in response to a measles outbreak in Somalia, according to a press release.
They are currently working with Somalia health authorities to offer essential health services.
To improve outbreak response activities and conduct a measles immunization campaign in November, WHO requires $6.8 million.
“Somalia is facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. Millions of people, already on the brink of famine, are now at risk of rapidly spreading infectious diseases like cholera and measles,” said Ghulam Popal, PhD, WHO representative in Somalia. “Normally, these diseases are easy to treat and prevent, but they can turn deadly when people are living in overcrowded spaces and are too weak to fight off infection.”
According to WHO, the current measles outbreak included 14,823 suspected cases as of July 31. Insufficient rainfall and poor harvest have left millions in Somalia vulnerable to malnutrition and mass displacement and unable to access clean water and sanitation, creating a perfect climate for infectious disease outbreaks, the organization said.
Although WHO and its partners have vaccinated roughly 600,000 children aged 6 months to 5 years for measles across the country, transmission continues, facilitated by the humanitarian crisis, according to the release.