The medical aid group – Doctors without Borders – says cholera is spreading rapidly in the capital, Luanda, and the rest of the country.
Richard Veerman is the group’s head of mission in Angola. From Luanda, he tells English to Africa’s Joe De Capua that, “We’re counting almost 500 cases a day (in Luanda). So these are huge numbers. If you add other affected provinces of Angola, it’s reaching almost 800 cases a day. So you can talk about a serious cholera outbreak.”
The cause of the outbreak has been traced to poor sanitation. “Cholera is a bacteria that is happening when there is poor hygiene and sanitation, mainly coming from water. It started and is occurring mainly in slum areas where there are very poor sanitary facilities, basically no sewage system in place and people forced to bathe in unsafe water and even drink unclean water,” he says.”
Doctors without Borders, also known as MSF, has been working with the Angolan government to try to control the outbreak and wage an awareness campaign about the disease. The group says its choler centers are “running at maximum capacity” and more help is needed.