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Cameroon: Cholera kills 105, subsides in Buea, but Limbe, Tiko remain in spotlight

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The Director of the Cholera Unit at the Buea Hospital in Cameroon, Dr Martin Mokake,  has hinted that the situation regarding the outbreak of Cholera has subsided for two straight weeks in the Buea region although towns like Limbe and Tiko remain in the spotlight with nearly 100 new infections in Cameroon.

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

In total, there have been 4627 patients and 105 deaths since the recent cholera outbreak.

“The situation here has indeed stabilized, we have had many cases, we have had a cumulative 350 cases of patients who have been treated following this disease, and among them, we have had 6 deaths from cholera. At the moment we have 9 patients hospitalized because we released some of them this morning” said Dr. Martin Mokake.

“While the cholera pandemic situation seems to be improving here in Buea in the South West regional capital, towns like Limbe and Tiko remain in the spotlight with nearly 100 new infections as announced by the Cameroonian Minister of Public Health in a tweet between March 25 and April 5”.

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.

“At the beginning, many people believed in the idea that cholera does not exist, but when the epidemic really started to grow not only in Tiko, when they learnt that there are deaths in Buea, Limbe, they started to believe in the existence of cholera. Some of them were even forced to come here to the treatment centre, seeing their relatives in bad shape, vomiting, they were convinced that it exists”.

Another cause behind the outbreak is the glaring lack of toilets and drinking water for the population.

“Generally it is due to the poor quality of access to water and the deplorable sanitary conditions. The state of the toilets is really not good in Likomba and in the whole town of Tiko, some people don’t even have toilets, and they relieve themselves directly in streams, and the inhabitants depend on these streams to drink, and it’s so bad”, concluded Dr. Meguete Eposi.

 

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M23 rebels take control of Kitshanga in eastern DR Congo

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The M23 rebels have announced that its fighters have seized control of the strategic town of Kitshanga, in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), after days of intense fighting.

The DRC military authorities also confirmed in a statement late on Friday that its forces have withdrawn from the town in a tactical move to protect civilians in the face of a renewed offensive by the rebel militia.

“We have tactically withdrawn from the city in order to attract these genocidal forces deep into the city and avoid the worst for our people in Kitshanga,” spokesman for the military governor of North Kivu, Lieutenant-Colonel Guillaume Ndjike, said in the statement.

“We are making every effort to dislodge this enemy,” he added.

Videos then emerged on social media showing the M23 fighters celebrating and claiming they had captured the town.

The M23 rebels said it took control of Kitshanga town on Thursday night after capturing several villages on the road linking the town of about 60,000 people to the provincial capital, Goma.

In an earlier statement, M23′s spokesman, Lawrence Kanyuka, has accused government troops of attacking civilians in Kitchanga and elsewhere, and said the rebel group was “obliged to intervene and stop another genocide”.

While condemning the recent development, the UN peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO), said more than 500 people, including women and children, are seeking refuge at its base in the town of Kitshanga.

MONUSCO spokesperson, Ndeye Khady Lo, said civilians fleeing from Kitchanga have been given tents, food, water and first aid.

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237 African migrants rescued off Libyan coast

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Not less than 237 African migrants were on Friday, rescued after their makeshift boat capsized off the Libyan coast while navigating the dangerous Mediterranean Sea, on their way to Europe.

French medical charity, Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which carried out the rescue mission, said the migrants were rescued by its chartered rescue vessel, Geo Barents, which was sailing in the Mediterranean Sea, north of the country’s capital Tripoli, when it received a distress call.

“The Geo Barents ship encountered other overcrowded rubber dinghies with migrants attempting to reach Europe and took them on board,” the NGO said.

“Following instructions by the maritime rescue coordination centre, the ship then sailed towards the northern Italian port of La Spezia.l,” it added.

The MSF and other NGOs operating rescue vessels off Africa’s northern coast have accused the Italian government of deliberately assigning far away ports to discourage their operations, an accusation the Italian Interior Ministry had denied.

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