Eritrea: Cholera Updates
(Asmara 25/09/2016) following the reported outbreak of cholera in the Gash-Barka and southern regions, there are now reports of the spread of the epidemic with deaths being reported across the country. According to reports received by Freedom Friday Activists (Arbi Harnet) the government continues to try and cover up the spread and consequently preventing the public from preventing the spread or getting urgent assistance that could be made available at affordable price.
Contacts within the Ministry of Health’s public health section report that in the area of Maimine the number of casualties reached 17 while in Molqi 3 people are reported to have died. In the military training Centre at Ala 3 members of the National service are also reported to have died from cholera.
The death toll in Gash Barka is undisclosed but is thought to be much higher and the disclosed number of casualties only indicative of those who have been known to health services.
The few health care teams dispatched to the affected region are confined to central areas leaving large chunks of the regions uncovered by health care or public health information.
In addition health care colleagues also revealed that , the effort of Arbi Harnet activists to disclose the devastating news has resulted in limited humanitarian assistance, including brand new medical equipment reaching the referral hospitals in Gash Barka and Southern region.
Meanwhile in Asmara people are worried about the conflicting information they are getting about cholera and the issue has become a hot topic of discussion amongst residents and visitors. Many heard coverage of the news on Radio Erena and have also read Arbi Harnet reports on the slightly improved internet service leading many to openly state that the opposition outside the country are providing better support than the government inside the country.
During a live audience program on national TV a medical doctor was put on the spot with a question on the prevalence and spread of Cholera; however the doctor had nothing to say as the policy continues to be one of covering up the existence or spread of the disease.