Somalia: 42 dead of suspected cholera in 24 hours

At least 42 people, mainly children, have died in the last 24 hours from a suspected cholera outbreak in southern Somalia, doctors said Tuesday. More than 240 others have been hospitalized, and doctors fear more deaths because of the lack of proper medical facilities or medicines in the war-ravaged country. "The children are dying from the disease because of a lack of access to proper medical centers," said Doctor Ahmed Nour Afey, who works at a provincial hospital in Marka town in Lower Shabelle region, some 90 kilometers south of the capital, Mogadishu. "Most of them die on their way to hospitals at the main towns in the region." Somalia has some of the world's worst health indicators. Life expectancy at birth is 46 years, and a quarter of children die before they reach five.