Africa witnessing exponential rise in cholera cases

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Africa is witnessing an exponential rise in cholera cases and is on course to have its worst year with the infectious disease for a decade.

Ten African countries are facing outbreaks of the disease in 2023 and the tally of cases and deaths across the continent has already reached around a third of all those recorded in 2022.

The United Nation’s health body said: “If the current fast-rising trend continues, it could surpass the number of cases recorded in 2021, the worst year for cholera in Africa in nearly a decade.

Malawi is enduring the worst outbreak, with some 1,200 people having died in the past year, making it the nation’s worst outbreak in two decades.

Malawi’s neighbours Mozambique and Zambia have also recently reported cases, while elsewhere, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are responding to outbreaks amid a harsh drought that has left millions in dire humanitarian need.

Burundi, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria have also reported cases.

The severe diarrhoeal infection is caused by food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae and often thrives in the wake of humanitarian disasters where there is a lack of clean sanitation or many displaced people.

The worldwide surge in cases has led to a shortage of supplies. The standard two-dose vaccination regime was suspended in October due, in what the WHO called an “exceptional decision” reflecting “the grave state of the cholera vaccine stockpile”.

Read more via The Telegraph

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