from MAVHUTO BANDA in Lilongwe, Malawi
LILONGWE, (CAJ News) – AT least 747 people have died from cholera outbreaks in Africa since the beginning of the year.
The deaths are from 35 324 cases the World Health Organisation (WHO) has documented between January 1 and March 7.
Some 13 countries are currently reporting cases. South Sudan is the latest country to confirm a new outbreak during the latest reporting week.
Malawi accounts for 61 percent (21 412) of all reported cases in 2023, followed by Mozambique with 14 percent (4 979) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with 11,8 percent (4 154).
Of the deaths reported in 2023, Malawi accounts for 84 percent (608 deaths), followed by Mozambique at 4,7 percent (35) and Kenya with 4,3 percent (32).
Cumulatively from January 2022, about 129 757 cases have been reported, including 3 024 deaths as of Wednesday (March 8).
Malawi, the Southern African country, is experiencing its worst outbreak of the water borne disease.
WHO noted that cholera outbreaks in the region are happening in the context of natural disasters such as cyclones (Malawi and Mozambique), flooding (Malawi and Nigeria), drought (Ethiopia and Kenya) and conflict (Cameroon, DRC, Ethiopia and Nigeria).
Poor sanitation and unreliable water supplies with increased cross-border movements also serve as driving factors for the outbreak across the region.
“Many countries have limited and strained resources, shortage of medical commodities including cholera kits and Oral Cholera Vaccine,” WHO stated.
Cholera is a bacterial disease causing severe diarrhoea and dehydration. it is usually spread in water. Cholera is fatal if not treated right away. Key symptoms are diarrhoea and dehydration
– CAJ News