WHO: Mozambique Records Rise In Cholera Cases, Malawi Sees Decline

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday said Mozambique reported a spike in the number of cholera cases in the last few weeks, even as many other African countries reported a decline, reported Reuters.

The UN health agency said Mozambique will soon get an additional 1.3 million cholera vaccine doses to help control the spread, but the shortage of vaccines still remains to be addressed.

Dr. Otim Ramadan, a WHO official, and epidemiologist said Malawi, which has been battling the deadliest cholera outbreak in its history, is currently reporting a sustained decline in new cases and deaths. Some other African countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and Zambia are also responding to cholera outbreaks.

Ramadan, however, warned that the progress to bring down the cholera transmission in Malawi in the last four weeks may reverse quickly due to the severe devastation caused by Tropical Storm Freddy.

Overall, cholera cases and deaths in Africa have been declining over recent weeks.

According to the WHO, more than 40,000 cases have been reported in Africa so far this year, with Malawi accounting for more than half and Mozambique recording about 15% of the total case number. As per data, both countries account for a combined total of more than 5.4 million people in need of support, including more than 2.8 million children.

The WHO officials warned that if a comprehensive response is not taken to stop the further spread of the disease then there could be a high number of cases by the end of the second quarter.

In related news, last week, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) appealed for a total of $150 million for all 11 countries facing the cholera outbreak, including $34.9 million for Malawi and $21.6 million for Mozambique, to provide lifesaving aid to a total of 5.4 million people affected by the outbreak.

Caroline Finnegan

A professionnal journalist for the past ten years, I cover global news and economic affairs for The Chief Observer.

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