Medical aid group Doctors without Borders, which is working in Angola to contain the cholera outbreak there says that 20,000 cases have come to light so far with 1,000 deaths. Cholera is an acute intestinal infection, which is caused in most cases by drinking contaminated water.
"It's still quite bad. It's showing even more in other provinces now also. This week on certain days we have seen almost a thousand cases a day and in some days more than 30 deaths," said Richard Veerman is the head of mission for Doctors without Borders in Angola. "Today (Thursday) was a little bit low, with 672 cases for a whole country, mainly because Luanda was a little bit down.... The past few weeks still very high and the total number of cases now is more than 20,000, with 941 deaths in total."
Doctors Without Borders had called for education campaigns to warn Angolans about the adverse effects of drinking contaminated water and had made an effort to distribute clean water several weeks ago. "Since then there's been a little bit of movement, but not enough in our opinion," Veerman said. "That's why we've been again saying the collaboration we have with the Angolan Minister of Health is very good, but we have been calling upon the government to align among all the involved ministries to do more to make sure that clean water is available in all the affected areas."
He added that the response to the outbreak was slow since Angola is still recovering from a civil war and has not reported a major cholera outbreak since a decade.