from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – FIGHTING between rebel groups and government forces is worsening the cholera and displacement crises in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The conflict is most severe in the territories of Masisi, Nyiragongo and Rutshuru in the restive province of North Kivu.
Since the end of October, some 2 414 suspected cases of cholera and 13 deaths have been reported.
Almost 74 percent of these cases are children under 18 and an increase of suspected cases was noted in Karisimbi in the neighbouring Nyiragongo health zone.
During the last epidemiological week of 2022, December 26 to January 1 in 2023, some 733 suspected cholera cases and four deaths were reported in North Kivu.
Out of these, 683 (93 percent) were from the Kanyaruchinya health area and all came from sites hosting internallt displaced persons (IDPs).
“The cholera situation remains very fragile with still a risk of major outbreak,” a humanitarian spokesperson said.
More than 450 000 persons have meanwhile been displaced in the North Kivu since the beginning of violence.
During the reporting period, fighting continued on several fronts between the M23 and the DRC national army.
The M23 has seized some towns, leading to the displacement of most of the population.
The conflict is now heading towards Nyamulima next to the Ugandan border, according to United Nations agencies.
– CAJ News