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Cholera cases increase in Burundi’s southwest

Ninety-five cases of cholera have been registered during the last three weeks in Burundi’s southwest regions, health officials confirmed Tuesday.

The case were mainly in Kabezi in Bujumbura Rural province and in Ruziba in the Burundian capital Bujumbura.

"During the last three weeks, cholera cases have been increasing on a daily basis in villages of Kabezi district and in some neighborhoods of the capital Bujumbura in Ruziba," said Dr. Vianney Ndayishimiye, head of Bujumbura health province.

According to him, the first cases of cholera were reported in Kabezi district and at Ruziba on July 27, but have continued to increase.

"After the cholera outbreak in the area, within only 10 days, it had increased up to 43 confirmed cases," said Ndayishimiye.

He indicated that a synergy of stakeholders is at work to control the deadly epidemic.

Ndayishimiye said that those stakeholders engaged in the fight against cholera include the public health and AIDS control ministry, the local administration, the Burundi Red Cross, the Doctors without Borders (MSF) nongovernmental organization, the civil protection police and community health services.

Three new cases were received Tuesday morning at Kabezi Hospital where cholera patients are treated and one among those 95 cholera cases died by the beginning of the cholera outbreak.

Health officials indicate that drugs against cholera are available, adding that they are given to patients free of charge.

For a long time, during the dry season that extends from June to September, several localities in the western part of Burundi suffer from serious shortages of clean drinking water and citizens living in poor neighborhoods drink unclean water from Lake Tanganyika, catching cholera bacteria.


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