Congo-Kinshasa: DRC Cholera Death Toll Rising

Photo: Nancy Palus/IRIN

Water and sanitation facilities are critical in the prevention of cholera.

Kinshasa — AN outbreak of cholera has killed more than 500 people in the conflict-ton Democratic Republic of Congo.

The death toll of 528 is from 24 200 cases reported in the Central African country. More than half of Africa’s second-biggest country by size has been affected by cholera since the end of last July. Some 20 out of 26 provinces are affected.

Almost all major cities have reported an outbreak which coincided with the deteriorating security situation. The World Health Organisation expressed alarm the outbreak had spread to the capital Kinshasa despite authorities disputing this. The risk of spreading remains significantly high towards the Greater Kasai region, where sanitary and security conditions remain precarious.

Thousands of civilians have been displaced in the area following incessant clashes between government forces and local militia agitated by the death of a tribal leader. The militants are also opposed to the presidency of Joseph Kabila who is still in power despite his term ending in late 2016.

International organisations have recently granted the troubled country USD$400 000 (R5,2 million) to curb the spread of the deadly waterborne disease.

A spokesperson of the World Health Organisation appealed to the local population to respect the hygienic rules. “These include washing hands with soap when leaving sanitary facilities and boiling drinking water,” he said.

AllAfrica News: Health and Medicine

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