Ministers of Health of Arab countries met in Damascus yesterday (August 27) to discuss the cholera threat.
Ministers of Health of Arab countries met in Damascus yesterday (August 27) to discuss the cholera threat. Several Arab countries have confirmed or suspected cholera cases and the Ministers discussed co-ordination of measures against the disease.
Five Arab Ministers of Health and two Under Secretaries attended the meeting. Cases of cholera have been reported recently in the Soviet Union, several Arab countries and North Africa.
Thursday's meeting was called by Syria's Minister of Health Dr. Daoud Riddawi, who in his opening speech urged the delegates to speak frankly "so that unified measures can be taken to ensure public safety."
Other Ministers at the meeting were from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were also represented.
One death from cholera and 32 suspected cases have been reported from Lebanon but Egypt says that reported cases in that country are in fact "Summer diarrhoea".
The World Health Organisation has rushed vaccine to the Arab countries to help them to carry out mass inoculations.
Other measures taken against the disease include bans on swimming pools in Syria and Jordan and restrictions on street vendors of refreshments. Lebanon has banned swimming in the sea and fishing near its beaches.