Cholera Cases Increase in Southern Africa

Health workers help cholera victims in Mozambique.

Health workers help cholera victims in Mozambique.

By Chuma Kisu

According to international reports the number of cholera cases in Mozambique has risen sharply in communities affected by flooding.

Flooding is happening in affected areas due to the recent cyclone that devasted the region in mid-March. At least 1,428 people have been infected as the Mozambican government and aid agencies try to contain the outbreak, health officials told journalists in the coastal city of Beira on Tuesday.

The cholera outbreak has grown rapidly since 249 cases were reported last week. At least 376 new cases were discovered on Tuesday, most of them in Beira city, as the infection rate continues to increase daily.

Two deaths have been reported in the cyclone-hit region, Ministry of Health records show.

Cyclone Idai crashed into Mozambique March 14, causing catastrophic flooding which has killed more than 500 people in the country. At least 259 people have been killed in Zimbabwe and 56 in Malawi.

Officials in Mozambique have warned the toll is likely to increase as more bodies are expected to be found when the flood waters recede.

The United Nations has estimated that some 1.8 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

According to reports, officials at the health ministry say they have stepped up hygiene awareness and education campaigns in areas impacted by Idai.

Healthy ministry officials and relief agencies are scheduled to commence a mass vaccination campaign very soon to limit the spread of cholera. The vaccination exercise is targeted at some 900,000 people affected by the cyclone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *