1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. Southern Africa
  4. Lesotho

Diarrhoea claims 28 lives

An outbreak of cholera in the southern districts of Lesotho has already claimed the lives of 28 villagers following heavy rains this month, health officials told IRIN on Monday.

“The worst affected areas in the Mohale’s Hoek district are the Mekaling and Morifi villages, where villagers have reported 28 deaths,” a doctor in the Health and Social Welfare ministry told IRIN, adding that of the 1,862 villagers screened 22 were seriously ill.

The doctor said health officials visited nine of the 10 catchment areas in the district to assess the situation. “We discovered that there is inadequate sanitation and unprotected water sources, which has led to the contamination of water sources on which households depend.” She added that the water sources that were tested contained faecal matter, but it was not clear whether this was from humans or animals.

The disease, added the doctor, broke out after the heavy rains which started late last December after a prolonged drought. “Water-borne diseases always peak with the advent of summer rains,” said the doctor, who added that the ministry has dispatched a team of public health workers to help contain the situation and conduct educational programmes for villagers.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

It was The New Humanitarian’s investigation with the Thomson Reuters Foundation that uncovered sexual abuse by aid workers during the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo and led the World Health Organization to launch an independent review and reform its practices.

This demonstrates the important impact that our journalism can have. 

But this won’t be the last case of aid worker sex abuse. This also won’t be the last time the aid sector has to ask itself difficult questions about why justice for victims of sexual abuse and exploitation has been sorely lacking. 

We’re already working on our next investigation, but reporting like this takes months, sometimes years, and can’t be done alone.

The support of our readers and donors helps keep our journalism free and accessible for all. Donations mean we can keep holding power in the aid sector accountable, and shine a light on similar abuses. 

Become a member today and support independent journalism

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.