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Angola Warned of Recurrent Cholera Outbreaks

by Medindia Content Team on July 8, 2006 at 11:02 AM
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Angola Warned of Recurrent Cholera Outbreaks

Although cholera cases in Angola has started declining, aid agencies warn Angola of repeated outbreaks of cholera if water and sanitation issues are not addressed.

Karen Godley, the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)-Switzerland head of mission in Angola said, "The government needs to improve water and sanitation - Angola has not seen a cholera outbreak since 1995 and now we expect it to reappear every year, becoming endemic."

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The latest World Health Organisation report of the cholera outbreak in Angola has stated that cholera has been responsible for 2,003 deaths and 48,817 cases in 14 of the country's 18 provinces since mid-February.

The capital of Angola, Luanda reported the first cases of cholera. The Boa Vista slum, located on landfills with no access to municipal water supplies or a proper sewerage system was the site of the first cases.
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According to Godley the spread of the disease can be attributed to the water delivery system that serves about 80 percent of Luandans where the water is pumped from heavily used rivers flowing through densely populated urban areas into ancient, broken tankers for distribution throughout the city.

Following the end of the 27-year civil war in 2002 Luanda's population has exploded to between 4 and 7 million. Godley said, "A great majority of people have no access to government water supply. People have to purchase water at very high prices - it is a very profitable activity."

Since the onset of the epidemic MSF has collaborated with the Health Ministry and has brought in several100 doctors, nurses, water and sanitation experts, information and education specialists to get the disease under control.

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