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Cholera outbreak threatens earthquake survivors in Paktika

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KABUL: Thousands affected by a deadly earthquake in Paktika province are at risk of cholera disease and are in need of clean water and food, an Afghan health ministry official said on Sunday, days after a U.N. agency warned of a cholera outbreak in the region.

After the earthquake hit south-eastern Afghanistan last Wednesday, killing more than 1,000 people, the U.N. humanitarian office (OCHA) warned that cholera outbreaks in the aftermath are of particular and serious concern. 

“The people are extremely needy for food and clean water,” Afghanistan’s health ministry spokesperson Sharafat Zaman told Reuters, adding officials had managed medicines for now but handling those who had lost their homes would be a challenge.

“We ask the international community, humanitarian organizations to help us for food and medicine, the survivor might catch diseases because they don’t have proper houses and shelters for living,” he said.

Helping thousands of Afghans is also a challenge for countries that had imposed sanctions on Afghan government bodies and banks, cutting off direct assistance, leading to a humanitarian crisis even before the earthquake.

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