On Friday, a representative with UNICEF warned of the regional spread of cholera as the cholera outbreak grows, with cases reported in several neighboring countries to include Syria, Kuwait and Bahrain.

Iraq map/CIA
Iraq map/CIA

In response to this, the Director of Information at the Iraqi Ministry of Health, Dr. Ahmed Al-Rudaini said, “these statements are inaccurate,” and “the ministry has taken control of the disease, and it has begun to subside gradually”, according to a Al-Sabaah report (computer translated).

He said a number of measure including mass vaccination has caused the outbreak to subside.

“The ministry has taken a package of measures that can control the disease, including the provision of half a million doses of cholera vaccine as well as preparation of special isolated wards for patients and examination of patients’ attendants as a precaution of the spread of the disease.

“The measures also included continued promotion in the media of all modes of transmission of cholera and how to avoid infection through careful hygiene and washing hands before and after eating, in addition to provision of field health education through visits to schools and IDP camps,” Al-Rudaini added, stressing “the role of religious leaders in raising awareness during Friday prayers to make cholera an issue of public concern so people become cautious of the disease.”

The number of cholera cases in the Iraq outbreak stands at approximately 2,500 cases.