Lebanon’s health ministry reported in an update Tuesday an additional 48 confirmed cholera cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the new cumulative total to 287 since the first case was reported on October 5, the first case reported in Lebanon since 1993.
Lebanon Minister of Health, Dr. Faras Al-Bayd continued his tour of the north visiting hard hit areas like Tripoli and Benin.
While in Tripoli, the health minister said, “We note that water pollution is a major cause of illness, as clean or reliable water sources are not accessible, and sometimes the use of unclean water in agriculture leads to cholera infection. Through our tour, we record a rapid change in the condition of the injured and their need for vaccinations, This requires us to increase the capacity of hospitals, especially those in the top line of defense”.
He continued: “With regard to the main issue, cholera, there is a need to rush to early treatment through vaccinations, and we can save many lives. It must be emphasized that the vaccine is available, for in addition to prevention by providing clean water and assistance in sanitation as well, we can adopt it as necessary to provide it to workers and areas that record a large proportion of illnesses”.
In Benin he exclaimed, “The main issue now is to secure clean water, and in Benin there are unreliable water sources, and what is happening now, in the absence of refined water that is subject to chlorine from the state, is that citizens are forced to resort to unclean water and water tanks. In order to have a quick solution, we are working with our partners, the internationals are distributing chlorine to homes to sterilize the water, or resorting to tanks with the Red Cross, in cooperation with the municipality, so we distribute chlorine to them and check them to confirm that this water is sterile.”
He added, “There is a very important issue. Even with these temporary solutions, we were able to solve the problem. We cannot close our eyes and not see the bad chronic conditions that led us to this problem. There is a reason why Benin is one of the towns most affected by the cholera epidemic? Therefore, we raise our voice to everyone.” Especially for the concerned ministries, we must find solutions for water and sanitation, so that the problem does not recur.”
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