The World Health Organization (WHO) declared on Tuesday that over 500 people had died so far in the cholera epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Cholera is an acute enteric infection caused by the ingestion of bacterium Vibro cholera present in faecally contaminated food and water- WHO
Based on poor sanitation and lack of access to clean drinking water, outbreaks of cholera occur regularly in Congo.
Reports suggest that this year’s epidemic has hit about Ten (10) urban areas including the capital Kinshasa. Due to violent activities more than 1.4 million people have been displaced from the Central Kasai region.
About 528 people have lost their lives. The endemic has spread to 20 of the 26 provinces in Congo. –WHO
Reports state that “the risk of spread of the disease remains very high in the Grand Kasai region. The degraded sanitation and poor security conditions further increases vulnerability in the face of the endemic”
So far, health officials have recorded more than 24,000 suspected cases across the vast nation this year, averaging more than 1,500 new cases per week since the end of July.
The WHO has sent a team of experts including epidemiologists and public health specialists to Congo this month. This is in an effort to contain the spread of the disease in the nation, Congo.