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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid