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DRC: the difficult battle against a growing cholera epidemic

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is currently experiencing a tenth Ebola epidemic in the east of the country, killing 180 people, and many cases of polio and measles. The country is also facing a cholera epidemic that began in 2017. Since the beginning of the year and until mid-October, the Congolese Ministry of Health has registered more than 880 people who died of this disease over 25,000 cases reported. Almost all provinces are affected, according to the country's authorities who have begun to implement a health response. But halting this cholera outbreak will be complicated.

Already 22 provinces affected of the 26 in the DRC. Everyone recognizes today that the cholera epidemic has progressed geographically, even though the authorities claim to have been able to contain it in terms of the number of its victims. In question, lack of resources, inherent weaknesses in the health system or even insalubrity.
The authorities also point to the emergence of a new Ebola outbreak, particularly in the north-east of the country.
"This year was the moment when we wanted to focus energy to organize the response to Ebola. This has mobilized resources and even staff to organize the fight, "said Dr. Aruna Abedi, Director of Epidemiological Surveillance in the DRC.
The government and the WHO assure that they are doing everything in their power to stem the cholera outbreak, even though, as it stands, it will be difficult to completely defeat dirty hands, "as it is called.
"The problem of cholera is multi-sectoral. As long as people do not have clean water, as long as people do not have access to sanitation, it will be difficult to control cholera in the DRC, "says Dr. Gervais Folesack, emergency coordinator for the DRC. In this country.
In the meantime, WHO has just proposed to the government the vaccination of some 6 million people at risk. This is a new strategy to fight cholera alongside those that have already been proven elsewhere such as the adoption of hygiene measures.


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