Increase in new Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) cases reported in Afar, Amhara and Tigray regions, United Nations claims.

The report has forced for the number of AWD cases was reported nationwide last week by at least 27 percent.

UNOCHA said it is mainly due to spikes in new cases reported in Amhara and Tigray regions.

A resurgence of the outbreak in Afar region where community transmission of the disease is widespread, it said in its weekly bulletin.

Currently, the major risk factors for the spread of the outbreak are holy water sites where large numbers of Christian pilgrims congregate from around the country, especially in Amhara and Tigray, and seasonal mobility of daily laborers to commercial farms.

Despite limited resources available, the UN agency said ministry of Health and Regional Health Bureaus are implementing preventive and control measures.

“In Tigray region for example, the number of districts affected by the outbreak is slowly decreasing,” it said. At the peak of the crisis, 80 per cent of the region was affected.

Government insists on describing the outbreak as one of AWD, not cholera, which has similar symptoms. The outbreak comes as authorities attempt to deal with a dire regional drought. An estimated 8.5 million Ethiopians are in need of emergency food aid. (Daily Monitor)