UNICEF and partners respond to unprecedented cholera outbreak in Sankuru province
KINSHASA, AUGUST 31, 2022 – A UNICEF multisectoral team and vital equipment are deployed in the province of Sankuru to help the Ministry of Public Health, Hygiene and Prevention to control and eradicate the latest outbreak of cholera.
More than 30,000 people are at risk from this new outbreak, including more than 17,000 children. UNICEF is concerned about an alarming case fatality rate of almost 10%. Of the 259 suspected cases reported as of August 29, 24 have lost their lives, including 8 children.
“The spread of this cholera outbreak is of great concern to us because there are many communication channels in the region. Children are often the first victims of cholera, which can spread very quickly if our actions are not stepped up as soon as possible,” said Grant Leaity, UNICEF Representative in the DRC.
Specialists in health, water and sanitation, and community engagement have been deployed on the ground since 17 August. More than 7 tons of medical equipment and water, hygiene and sanitation have been sent to the site to support all the actions undertaken by the provincial authorities.
“There are many challenges on site, where there is a lack of personnel and resources. Many areas are isolated and mobile means of communication are very limited, which has consequences for the surveillance and responsiveness of response teams,” said Grant Leaity.
UNICEF has already mobilized US$170,000 from its own funds to respond to this emergency. A total of US$2.3 million is now needed to strengthen emergency activities, stop the spread of this epidemic and protect children in affected health zones in Sankuru province, as well as in neighboring provinces. Haut-Lomami, Tanganyika and South Kivu.
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