The World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday it will conduct a two-month training program for community health workers on the case management of acute watery diarrhoea/cholera.

WHO Representative in Somalia, Ghulam Popal, said in a statement that the program began on Wednesday with a three-day training program for 35 trainers, who will then conduct training at the community level.

“WHO will step up its support to the ministry of health to protect over 5 million people who are still at risk of contracting waterborne diseases in different parts of the country, and it is committed to building the local capacities to scale up preparedness and response to potential cholera outbreak,” said Popal.

He said the training of community health workers on cholera case-management is expected to contribute to a reduction of the number of acute watery diarrhoea/cholera associated deaths.

The training program will be implemented between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 and cover the 11 south central zone regions.

Popal said the UN health agency and local authorities have succeeded in controlling the spread of the latest major cholera outbreak which started in November 2016 and ended September 2017.

“The number of suspected cholera cases has declined gradually, thanks to the joint efforts and collaboration between WHO, national health authorities and health partners,” said Popal.

By October, the acute watery diarrhoea/cholera outbreak had resulted in 78 240 cases and 1159 deaths from 55 districts in 19 regions across the country.

“Despite the significant reduction in the number of cases and deaths reported in the past three months, the risk of a potential outbreak during the coming rainy season is still high due to poor sanitation and access to safe water, limited access to health care services, inaccessibility in some of the hotspot areas, and possible importation of cases from neighbouring countries,” WHO warned. Enditem