from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – AT least 354 people have died this year from cholera outbreak devastating Central and West Africa.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where 297 people have died, is the worst affected by the water borne disease.
No less than 39 people have died from a similar outbreak in Nigeria.
In Cameroon, 17 people have died while in Chad, a single fatality has been recorded. There have been outbreaks in Benin, Ivory Coast and Liberia but no deaths recorded during the period.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Congolese provinces of North Kivu, South Kivu and Tanganyika recorded 90 percent of the cholera cases.
The UN agency is concerned at the growing outbreak in the North Kivu city of Goma where an outbreak of Ebola is already wreaking havoc.
More than 2 000 people have died from an outbreak of Ebola in DRC since August last year.
The unstable country is also enduring an outbreak of measles.
Its cholera crisis is largely attributed to the unhealthy conditions millions displaced by numerous conflicts live under. Rebel groups are thwarting the response to Ebola.
Cameroon and Nigeria are also facing displacements of huge proportions.
Thousands displaced by the Boko Haram terror group and ethnic conflict, in Nigeria and Cameroon respectively, lack clean water and proper sanitation facilities.
– CAJ News