Cholera Outbreak in Tanzania Kills 54 Since August
Tanzania’s ongoing cholera outbreak has killed 54 people since August, according to the United Nations.
A report released by the UN also shows 3,559 others have been suspected or confirmed to have contracted the infectious disease. The UN has voiced concerns that measures to bring the outbreak to a halt are being overpowered by the rate of new infections.
Outbreak in Dar es Salaam
The outbreak has been most prominent in Tanzania’s largest city, Dar es Salaam. The UN says 2,668 cases of extreme diarrhoea have been registered and 33 deaths in the city have been attributed to cholera.
“Despite these efforts, cholera transmission continues, particularly in Dar es Salaam,” said the report. “Assuring adequate safe water to effectively control the outbreak therefore remains a major challenge.”
Weak infrastructure has been highlighted as a key concern in the nation’s fight against cholera, impeding the city’s efforts in controlling the disease. Meanwhile, experts also mention the importance of public information in preventing the outbreak from spiralling further out of control.
Cases beyond the city
While Dar es Salaam is suffering the largest outbreak in Tanzania, further outbreaks have occurred in Pwani, Iringa and Morogoro. A major outbreak also struck refugee camps in Kigoma and Kagunga earlier this year, while the first case in Zanzabar has been confirmed.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported last month that almost 1,000 new cases had been reported in just a few weeks. The disease spreads through contaminated water or food, and poor sanitation is largely contributes to spreading the disease.