At least 110 people were killed by hunger and a cholera outbreak within the last 48 hours in Somalia, which faces a severe drought, Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire said Saturday.
Most deaths occurred in the poverty-stricken East African nation’s Bay and Bakol regions, Khaire told reporters in the capital, Mogadishu.
Earlier on Saturday, a local government official from the Bay region said at least 69 people died from cholera since Friday.
Among the dead were mostly children and elderly people, regional humanitarian chief Abdullahi Omar Roble told dpa.
More than 70 people were hospitalized due to the outbreak, which was caused by water shortages, Roble added.
Not enough medication was available to treat all patients, Roble said.
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated. The infection is caused by food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera.
The outbreak comes days after Somalia declared a national disaster in drought-affected areas.
The drought is affecting 6.2 million people, with aid agencies fearing the situation could escalate into a famine.
The aid effort has been hampered by the government’s military conflict with the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab, which is preventing aid agencies from accessing part of the country.