Exiled authorities from the Ukrainian city of Mariupol have reported strong suspicions of a cholera outbreak as a result of unsanitary conditions in the city.
It is currently difficult to obtain reliable data from the occupied city as there are no officials from the World Health Organisation or UNICEF present. However, in April the WHO reported limited access to water for maintenance of personal hygiene in Mariupol, which increases the risk of communicable diseases.
An advisor to the Mayor of Mariupol, Petro Andryuschenko, reported in July that here was no safe housing left. As a result, residents cook and wash in the street. Obtaining potable water is the highest priority: water is not available, even of low quality, and only an estimated 3-5% of residents have access to water. Without medicine and medical assistance, restoration of the water supply and functional sewage systems, epidemics will break out in the city, he said.
Reports of a cholera epidemic began to emerge in June in Ukrainian media, warning of the high risks of mortality should a cholera epidemic break out amid a collapse of health care infrastructure. However, it is not possible to investigate the situations due to the inaccessibility of the city. Every day between 10-15 people arrived at remaining health care facilities with symptoms resembling cholera.
Andryuschenko also reported that Russian occupiers have admitted that the restoration of water supply in the city is impossible due to the level of destruction of the city’s water infrastructure.