from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – NO less than 439 people have died from outbreaks of cholera in Central and West Africa this year.
Deaths are from 21 166 cases.
The figures for January to October exceed the total number of people that died from the water-borne disease in 2019.
Then, 426 people died from a total of 28 039 cases.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) attributes the spike in recent weeks to the emergence of new outbreaks in Nigeria between September and October this year.
Some 35 deaths have been reported around the West African country during the period.
Overall, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is the country enduring the worst outbreak of cholera in the continent.
Since the beginning of the year, 272 people have died from cholera from a total of 17 462 cases.
Cameroon and Nigeria have confirmed 80 deaths each during the period.
Benin has documented five deaths and Liberia two casualties.
The global community has set a target of end cholera by 2030.
The seventh meeting of the Global Task Force on Cholera Control was held on October 20 and 21 to enhance these plans.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by the ingestion of contaminated food or water. It remains a challenge to countries where access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation cannot be guaranteed.
– CAJ News