DRC epidemic cholera

A cholera outbreak in a refugee camp in the Democratic Republic of Congo has spread to the eastern provincial capital of Goma, aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres says.In Kibati there had been up to 50 cases of cholera at the crowded camp alone.There were about 90 known cases across camps in the region, but the movement of people displaced by the fighting was raising concerns that the localised outbreaks could develop into a full-blown epidemic.

Megan Hunter, who works for Medicins Sans Frontieres, said “everyone of the 50,000 people in this camp is at risk”.

“We have a serious risk of having a big cholera epidemic in this part of the world … We have a population that is on the move, an unstable security situation  and a population that does not have access to safe water and proper sanitation,” declare for press Dr Claire-Lise Chaigot of the World Health Organisation.

The humanitarian crisis exploded after rebel leader Laurent Nkunda launched an offensive on August 28, stopping his forces at the gates of Goma before declaring a ceasefire.

Retreating Congolese troops and rebels sent the population fleeing and sporadic clashes have broken out since then despite the ceasefire.

Thousands of refugees are packed into camps or sleeping out in the open and Weekend clashes between rebels and soldiers increased fears that patients could scatter and start an epidemic.

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