News / Africa

Cholera Kills Over 200 in Northern Cameroon

Map showing locations of areas in Cameroon hardest hit by cholera
Map showing locations of areas in Cameroon hardest hit by cholera

A cholera epidemic has hit northern Cameroon, killing more than 200 people in less than a month.  The government of the central African nation and aid agencies say some of the affected persons are refugees fleeing the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram. 

Cameroon's Far North regional delegate for public health, Dr. Rebecca Djao, says the death toll from cholera in hospitals has surged to more than 100 and deaths out of hospital are also estimated at more than a hundred.

The epidemic follows heavy rains that triggered flooding.

Cameroon's Minister of Public Health Andre Mama Fouda  told VOA a majority of people infected with the disease are children under the age of five and women.  

He advised people to drink only potable water and not get their water from rivers, which can carry the disease downstream if infected fecal matter or bacteria is in the water.

"I have asked them to boil water from suspicious sources before drinking," he said, "and to stop their children from defecating in bushes and streams, adding that people should not dig pit toilets near water wells."

The hardest hit areas are Logone, Chari and Mayo Sava where safe drinking water is usually in short supply.

Fru Angwafor, a senior health official, said some of the patients were refugees fleeing violence in neighboring Nigeria.

"It is not possible to stop people from moving so it is entirely possible that somebody that is contaminated is moving from one region to the other and this essentially has been the case.  Because of this high mobility of patients we now have the disease in this areas," said Angwafor.

Residents said medical supplies were inadequate even though the government has set up emergency units, which were consistently overwhelmed with victims.

Ngoran Pierre, a resident of Pousse, one of the localities affected, said he had strictly observed hygiene rules to avoid the disease.

"I avoid eating this from the streets because most things that you find in the streets are just exposed, flies jump from one angle to the other.  I don't even think greeting with bare hands is a good practice because you just find some men urinate and come to greet you.  So even just waving somebody is better," he said.

The country's Red Cross movement and the National Order of Medical Doctors have warned that if resources are not deployed to fight the disease, Cameroon may be in for a repeat of the 2010 epidemic, when the country had to deal with 10,000 cases of cholera, more than 80 percent of them in the north.

That epidemic killed about 4,000 people.   

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Viajarseguro from: Spain
August 02, 2014 2:15 PM
More information about cholera and other infectious diseases on the web www.viajarseguro.org

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid