World Bulletin / News Desk
The World Health Organization on Saturday sounded the alarm over a cholera outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo which has already claimed 528 lives and reached "worrying proportions".
"The cholera outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has reached worrying proportions with 20 out of 26 provinces affected by the disease" the UN agency said in a statement.
Cholera is transmitted through contaminated drinking water and causes acute diarrhoea, with children facing a particularly high risk of infection.
There are between 1.4 and 4.3 million cases of the disease worldwide each year, and as many as 142,000 deaths, according to WHO statistics.
As of September 2, Congolese authorities had recorded 24,217 suspected cases, it said.
The outbreak has affected several cities and towns in the east, west and north, as well parts of the capital Kinshasa.
WHO said the disease could resurface in the sprawling central Grand Kasai region where the infrastructure and sanitary conditions are skeletal. The last cholera outbreak here occurred in 2003.
The UN health body said it was donating $400,000 to help deploy technical teams in priority zones and called on Congolese authorities to back efforts to stem the disease by cleaning up mounds of garbage and ensuring the supply of clean drinking water.
'Protecting human rights is key to responding to the Ebola outbreak,' HRW says
World Health Organization and Public Health Ministry on May 8 announced confirmed cases of Ebola in the country
Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo is a 'wake-up call,' says head of West African Health Organization
Tobacco use is falling, but not fast enough, with active or passive smoking killing over 7 million people every year
Slogan for this year's campaign is 'Time to see beauties'
Developed by high school students in west Turkey, microchip gets award in US, Europe
UN reports cases of Ebola virus disease 'in an urban center' that killed 25 so far
In a statement, the UN agency said WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus would convene an emergency committee to discuss the matter.
Following is a recap of past epidemics of Ebola as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) battles a new outbreak of the deadly tropical disease:
In the absence of rules, travel agencies offer trips to the region on boats sometimes equipped with helicopters or submarines, according to Segolene Royal, French ambassador for the Arctic and Antarctic poles.
Three health care workers among 19 deaths, World Health Organization says
World Health Organization concerned about potential regional spread of deadly virus
Doctors Worldwide provides orthopaedic training to health personnel
People suffering from advanced cardiac or pulmonary insufficiency to benefit from device made at university in Izmir