2 February 2013

Congo-Kinshasa: Cholera Outbreak in Eastern DRC

Photo: Paco Arevalo/MSF
A young cholera victim receives treatment (file photo).

The Ministry of Health has cautioned the general public to be alert following a cholera outbreak in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to reports, the outbreak has so far left one dead and six hospitalized at Katindo Refugee Camp.

Dr. Thierry Nyatanyi, head of epidemic infectious diseases division at the Rwanda Biomedical Centre, said that his ministry is ready to respond in case the disease is imported on the other side of the border.

Goma, the border town of neighbouring DRC, is viewed as a possible transmission centre because of the booming business collaboration between traders there and those of Gisenyi Town in Rwanda.

"We are prepared to combat the reported pandemic if it crosses to our side of the border," Nyatanyi said.

On Friday, the North Kivu Provincial Minister of Health, Mutete Mundenga, told local media that the outbreak occurred in the refugee camp.

"There are some confirmed cases and the victims are being treated at the camp hospital," he said.

The Sunday Times has established that the affected people are family members of two night guards working at the refugee camp. They include their two wives and three children.

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