More than 2,000 cholera cases, including 59 deaths, have been recorded this month in the Democratic Republic of Congo's southeastern Katanga province, an aid organisation said Wednesday.
Three different sites in the province have registered 2,083 cholera cases, said Bertrand Perrochet, an official with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders).
A week ago, MSF had reported 1,463 cases and 30 deaths, mostly in the provincial capital of Lubumbashi, the mining city of Likasi and the rural area of Bukama.
In Bukama, the outbreak appears to have been brought under control and the organisation's emergency teams have been sent to Likasi, with a population of more than 300,000.
'When we arrived in Likasi (last week), more than 60 new patients were arriving each day for a centre with a capacity of 35 people,' MSF said. 'Hygienic conditions were catastrophic.'
MSF has recorded 30 deaths and 687 cases in Likasi over the course of a month.
The organisation set up a new medical structure to relieve the overburdened local hospital and the supply of potable water has improved, it said.
Cholera is a waterborne disease which causes serious diarrhoea and vomiting and can be fatal if not treated within 24 hours. It can be prevented by washing hands before handling food and avoiding contaminated drinking water.