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Another cholera outbreak

Water Affairs and Forestry Minister Ronnie Kasrils warned on Monday that South Africa would face another cholera outbreak during the summer months, but said that his department had measures in place to deal with it, news reports said.

Briefing journalists, Kasrils said there were three components in the fight against cholera: the provision of safe water, the availability of sanitation and access to education on health and hygiene. “My department has put several strategies in place and it is anticipated these will form part of the government’s programme with the Department of provincial and local government and the department of health,” Kasrils said.

He said this year’s programme would be coordinated by the national disaster management centre, with provincial and local joint operational centres already preparing to respond quickly to new outbreaks. Kasrils said the short-term response to cholera focuses on rapid treatment, combined with massive health and hygiene education to empower people to protect themselves, the longer term response is to speed up the delivery of basic water and sanitation services.

He told journalists that from June 1994 to 31 July this year, the government provided 6.8 million mainly rural people with water, 182,000 people with sanitation and 550,000 people with health and hygiene education.

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

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