Cholera outbreak is regular in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Year after year, the “disease of the dirty hands” crosses new thresholds of spread, making the DRC the most affected country of Central Africa.
This time, the epidemic was declared on 9 September by the authorities and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Since the cholera epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was declared on 9 September, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has treated 17,000 people after setting up around 30 units and treatment centres. The outbreak has already spread across 20 provinces, a situation never seen before in the country, and has not yet been brought under control. MSF is urging for increased prevention and awareness-raising activities, as well as the need for more organisations to get involved in the response to tackle the epidemic.
The outbreak, one of the most virulent in recent years, erupted in June in North Kivu province and has so far affected to 20 of the country’s 26 provinces, reaching epidemic proportions in 11. More than 24,000 people have been affected and 500 deaths have been reported. Cholera is endemic in 6 provinces of the country, but the drought of recent months and the high mobility of the population in certain areas have resulted in a faster spread and a greater impact, with 28 percent more cases than in 2016. The last week of August only, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported up to 1,500 cases.
A cholera treatment centre (CTC) is vital for treating people with severe cholera. It is a facility where patients can be stabilized and treated, and where strict hygiene measures prevent the disease from spreading. It also offers patient treatment and stabilization services. The onset of cholera in a patient is very abrupt, so it is important to detect and treat cases as soon as possible. Dehydration arises very quickly and can cause death if not treated immediately and in the right way by administering fluids and oral rehydration salts. Most patients can be treated orally and only in cases of severe dehydration fluid administration is done intravenously.
Author: Gesture Chidhanguro