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DRC cholera death toll surges to 500

Story from: CAJ News Africa

Somalia CholeraFrom JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – A raging cholera outbreak has claimed left over 500 people dead in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The epidemic, which has infected more than 24 000 people since an outbreak erupted in the North Kivu province in June, is projected to claim more lives with the rains imminent.
The water borne disease has so far spread to 20 of the Central African country’s 26 provinces, reaching epidemic proportions in 11.
Cholera is endemic in six provinces but the drought of recent months and the high mobility of the population owing to conflict in certain areas have resulted in a faster spread and a greater impact.
It represents one of the largest cholera outbreaks seen in DRC.
Doctors Without Borders is making frenetic efforts to halt the crisis in the most affected areas.
“Containing the epidemic is the main priority,” Cisco Otero, head of mission in DRC, said.
“The rainy season is coming and that can spread the virus even faster and lead to a critical situation.”
The cholera outbreak is the latest crisis to torment the country of 80 million people.
There has been rising militancy coinciding with protests calling for the resignation of President Joseph Kabila, whose term expired in in December 2016.
CAJ News

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