20 January 2011

Mozambique: Cholera Outbreak in Monapo

Maputo — A cholera outbreak in Monapo district, in the northern Mozambican province of Nampula, has claimed four lives over the past week, according to a report in Thursday's issue of the Maputo daily "Noticias".

There have been 176 diagnosed cases of the disease which, according to Lidia Chongo, the Deputy National Director of Health, is particularly severe in the communities of Nacuca and Carapira.

The main reasons for the spread of the disease in Monapo, she said, are the habit of defecating in the open, and contamination of traditional, unprotected wells used by the population.

A cholera treatment ward has been set up, and chlorine is being used to disinfect water sources. The local health directorate has also asked the relief agency, the National Disasters Management Institute (INGC) to provide three water reservoirs, each with a capacity to hold 20,000 litres, to be installed in Naruca, Carapira and Monapo town.

Since Monapo lies on the Nacala rail corridor, there are fears that the disease will spread to other parts of the province including the two main cities, Nampula and Nacala port.

Cases of severe diarrhea have been reported from Nampula, Mozambique Island and Ribaue and Murrupula districts, but these have not yet been confirmed as cholera.

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