Lebanon announces measures to fight cholera, including a unified national platform

Bambi would like to thank Fatma for attracting her attention to spread of cholera in Lebanon. What is cholera? It is a bacterial disease, which spreads through contaminated water or food. Cholera can cause severe diarrhea and, thus, dehydration.

The good news about cholera is that it is easily treated. Indeed, death from severe dehydration can be prevented with a simple and inexpensive sugar-salt rehydration solution. However, the worrisome news about this disease is the following: left untreated, it can rapidly be fatal, even within hours, not just in vulnerable people but also in initially healthy ones.

Luckily, in industrialized countries, adequate sewage and water sanitation have eliminated cholera. However, the latter disease still exists in countries like Haiti, in Southeast Asia, and in Africa. Tragically, the ongoing civil war in Syria has severely damaged water infrastructure.

Since September 2022, there is a new cholera outbreak in Syria. It has now spread to neighbouring countries, including Lebanon and Irak. By extension, it is also posing a risk to the rest of the Middle East.

As tweeted by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health, in the past 48 hours, there has been 46 new Cholera cases. This raises the cumulative number of cases to 89 (mostly in North Lebanon). Sadly, there has been one mortality, which raises the cumulative number of deaths to 3:

Information tweeted by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health
Information tweeted by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health

Before concluding this post with Lebanese media articles on the topic in Arabic, English, and French, Bambi would like to express the two following thoughts: (1) How sad to see cholera in the Middle East. In the case of Lebanon, it is coming back after over three decades and (2) Even when bankrupt, and on its knees in so many ways, Lebanon is usually skilled in managing national crises (like consequences of armed conflicts, explosions, other crises, etc.). Specifically, the Ministry of Public Health has worked hard, and relatively very efficiently, in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic from the best of its capacity (despite the multiple crises of the country). Bambi wishes Lebanon all the best in all its efforts to control the cholera outbreak and to reduce death!

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