UN agencies respond to deadly outbreak of cholera in northwestern Kenya

More than 200 cases of cholera have now been reported in the outbreak, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today, with most deaths occurring in relatively remote and inaccessible areas.The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has provided hygiene and sanitation supplies and begun working with authorities in Turkana East district to finalize a joint response plan to the outbreak.OCHA reported that it has also conducted a joint assessment mission to two affected areas with officials from Kenya’s National Disaster Operation Centre and its Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation.Cholera is an acute intestinal infection picked up through contaminated food or water, and results in diarrhoea that can lead to severe dehydration and death unless there is prompt treatment.OCHA said the probability of contaminated water sources has increased in north-western Kenya because of the prolonged drought in the region, which has forced villagers and farmers to rely on water wells that are shared with both livestock and wild animals. 17 December 2009United Nations humanitarian agencies are providing emergency supplies and other forms of assistance to Kenyan Government officials as they respond to an outbreak of cholera in the northwest of the country that has left at least 26 people dead. read more

United States eager to build on partnership with Sri Lanka

The United States says it is eager to build on its partnership with Sri Lanka.US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a message on behalf of the Government of the United States of America, extend wishes to Sri Lanka as the country commemorated its National Day. “The United States remains eager to build on our partnership with Sri Lanka and advance shared interests in the Indo-Pacific region based on our common democratic values. Sri Lanka’s democratic institutions and constitutional processes have ensured your country’s continued advancement,”Mike Pompeo said. He further said that the US looks forward to working together with Sri Lanka to further deepen ties between both nations, promote shared prosperity, and secure a stable and peaceful future. (Colombo Gazette)