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29 dead, 260 new cases recorded as Cameroon battles cholera outbreak

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Cameroon’s Health Minister, Manaouda Malachie, has revealed that there has been an outbreak of cholera that has killed 29 people in the past week and 260 new have been recorded.

The Health Minister made the disclosure in a thread of posts on the micro-blogging platform Twitter.Between March 16 and 22, an outbreak of cholera was observed in the South West region with more than 300 cases, that is, 43 cases and 20 deaths in Kumba, 111 cases and 2 deaths in Buea, 122 cases in Limbe, 68 cases and 05 deaths in Tiko. Also 16 cases and 02 deaths in Yaounde”, Dr. Malachie said on Twitter.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera. Cholera remains a global threat to public health and an indicator of inequity and lack of social development. Researchers have estimated that every year, there are roughly 1.3 to 4.0 million cases, and 21 000 to 143 000 deaths worldwide due to cholera.

The Minister said an incident management system has been activated at the central level and in the epidemic regions to ensure the coordination of the measures taken and reactive vaccination.

The recent “outbreak of cases” is mainly in the western part of Cameroon.

A recent update by the Minister says the country has recorded 260 new cases but the South and the Far North have not recorded cases for more than 21 days.

 

According to reliefweb, in 2021,“cholera epidemic started in week 43 in the Central and South-West regions of Cameroon with a total of 55 cases and 4 deaths (CFR 7.3%). A mobilization of actors around the government was put in place to control the localized outbreak in the health districts of Biyem-Assi and Ekondo Titi”.

Metro

Zambia signs creditor agreement deal with China, India to resolve debt crisis

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President Hakainde Hichilema of Zambia has announced the signing of an official creditor agreement with China and India that will help resolve the country’s debt crisis.

Hichilema, who made the announcement on Saturday, said the agreement would also help pave the way for the country to negotiate with private creditors.

Before signing the agreement, Zambia had struggled to revive its debt restructuring process after a deal to rework $3 billion Eurobonds was rejected by its official creditors, with international media reporting that China and other creditors did not believe that it offered comparable debt relief to that of bondholders.

Earlier on Friday, Minister of Finance, Situmbeko Musokotwane, had assured that the government was trying to clarify the meaning of a “comparable treatment” with bondholders.

However, while addressing a gathering during the Nc’wala ceremony of the Ngoni speaking people of Eastern Province, President Hichilema confirmed the signing of the agreement with the two Asian nations.

“On the official creditors’ side, the last two countries that had not signed, China and India, have now signed,” Hichilema said.

The President added that Zambia was now turning to the private creditors in a bid to address the debt issue because the had defaulted on its foreign debts in November 2020 and that its restructuring had been beset by delays.

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Metro

Four of 10 Nigerians indebted to loan sharks— Report

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A report from a research carried out by Nigerian fintech platform, Piggy Vest, has revealed that four out of 10 Nigerians are indebted to online loan sharks and are finding it difficult to come out of such debts.

The report noted that 26 per cent of average Nigerians were indebted to different loan apps spread across the country which is as a result of the harsh economic challenges brought about by different unfavourable government policies.

The report which was discussed at a Finance Roundtable in Lagos on Saturday by co-founder and COO of PiggyVest, Odun Eweniyi, lamented the widening wealth divide among Nigerians, saying it was inimical to economic growth as a vast majority of Nigerians live below the poverty line.

According to Eweniyi, the report ‘captures the attitude of different demographics in the country viz- a-viz their savings and spending habits, debt management, and future financial plans.’

As a panacea to solving the problems of indebtedness, Eweniyi advocated ‘savings before spending in order to avoid running into debt,’ adding that the option of savings was still elusive to Nigerians who live below the poverty line of $2 per day dollars per day.

“We must also know that while innovation is key, it cannot go far without social interventions for the people.”

She urged the government to focus on Nigerians at the bottom of the pyramid in its conversation as well as simplify access to public credit facilities to improve income status of average Nigerians.

“This is why government must as much as possible explore collaboration with private sector to improve the living conditions of Nigerians and also drive financial literacy and inclusion,” Eweniyi emphasized.

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