Angola steps up efforts against cholera


Angola battles cholera

from PEDRO AGOSTO in Luanda, Angola
Angola Bureau
LUANDA, (CAJ News) – ANGOLA is stepping up measures to respond to a potential emergence of cholera.

This comes amid ongoing outbreaks in neighbouring countries. The borders with Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Zambia are high-risk areas.

The Ministry of Health, with support from World Health Organisation (WHO), has developed a national cholera contingency plan outlining the key measures to be implemented to prevent and respond to an outbreak.

Health authorities are enhancing disease surveillance and other response activities in high-risk areas.

“We are on the right path. Different ministerial departments, communities and partners are all involved in preparing activities in different areas according to the national contingency plan,” said Dr Helga Freitas, the National Director of Public Health.

Rapid response teams in border districts are being trained while health workers are receiving support on cholera treatment.

Supplies of oral rehydration salts and intravenous fluids are also being prepositioned in health facilities in border areas.

Efforts are also ongoing to identify all sources of untreated or polluted water.

Additionally, authorities are distributing chlorine and chlorinating drinking water sources and are raising public awareness on cholera prevention and the importance of seeking early treatment among other preventive measures.

The measures are being carried out in ten of the country’s 18 provinces by a national team of 28 experts.

“We are confident about the measures that the country is adopting,” said Dr Humphrey Karamagi, Acting WHO Representative in Angola.

Angola has battled cholera outbreaks in the past. After a long period without any outbreaks between 1995 and 2000, the country experienced a huge outbreak in 2011 resulting in 2 284 cases and 181 deaths.

The most recent outbreak between 2016 and 2017 had a total of 252 cases and 11 deaths.

– CAJ News

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