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Cholera "continues spreading"

The water supply in Brazzaville is so unreliable that most citizens stock up using jerry-cans to see them through the long periods when taps run dry
(Andre Itoua/IRIN)

Health authorities in the Republic of Congo have recorded 340 cases of cholera, nine of them fatal, since June 2011, in the northern district of Likouala, and have warned that the disease continues to spread and that some health centres lack sufficient treatment.

“Some deaths have not been taken into account because the [deceased’s] families have not reported them,” said Jean Martin Mabiala, the doctor in charge of health services in the district, adding that there were other suspected cases that had not been confirmed because of the remoteness of their locations.

He said the crew of a river boat from the Central African Republic had buried two people suspected to have died of cholera in early February.

The epidemic has struck a 500km-radius area stretching from Betou to Liranga, which includes the department’s main town, Impofondo.

“We have received some medical supplies from Brazzaville but the cholera patients use so much we have almost run out,” said Mabiala.

“There is a lot to be done to raise awareness and disinfect houses,” he added.

Meanwhile, in Brazzaville, 200 cases of measles, including two fatalities, have been recorded over the past two weeks, according to the director-general in the health ministry, Alexis Elira Dokekias, who explained that not all children had been vaccinated against the disease.

Between December 2010 and June 2011, 800 cases of measles, including 32 fatalities, were recorded in the southern Pointe-Noire region, leading to a stepped-up immunization campaign.

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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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