17 November 2017

Congo-Kinshasa: Over 800 Dead in DRC Cholera Outbreak

Kinshasa — MORE than 800 people have been killed as a result of a cholera epidemic linked to escalating conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The deaths of the 882 victims have been recorded from over 44 000 outbreaks since the beginning of the year. Authorities said while the cholera epidemic has been on a downward trend, however, a relatively large increase in the number of cases has been observed in the Kasai and Lomani provinces. The provinces of are the last to be affected by the epidemic and had not been affected by cholera epidemics in the last ten years. "The arrival of cholera in the Kasai region was predictable because of the vulnerability of the five provinces of the region to diarrheal diseases," said spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Health. Violent conflicts that have led to numerous population movements and major damage to health facilities have exacerbated the vulnerabilities of communities to cholera. Substantial financial support remains an urgent need to stem the spread of the epidemic in the newly-affected regions. Raging conflict is tearing DRC apart. The refusal by President Joseph Kabila to cede power at the lapse of his term last year has heightened tensions. Some 4 million people are displaced in the Central African country of over 78 million people.


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