Tanzania: Cholera outbreak claims 18 lives


An outbreak of cholera in central Tanzania’s Dodoma region has left 18 dead in four months, a health official said on Tuesday.

Dodoma Regional Medical Officer James Kiologwe, said that since Oct. 2017, 470 cholera cases had been recorded in the region.

He said in December and January, cholera cases were low, but the number went up this month.

According to Kiologwe, Mpwapwa and Chamwino are the districts worse hit with cholera, an infectious disease that causes severe watery diarrhea and leads to dehydration and even death if untreated.

Cholera is caused by eating food or drinking water contaminated with a bacterium called Vibrio cholerae.

“Until Monday this week, there were about 26 new cases in Mpwapwa and Chamwino districts,’’ he said, noting that 22 of the 26 have been discharged after treatment.

Efforts are underway to contain the disease, particularly in the harder hit areas, including educating people to observe general hygiene.

“A team of health practitioners has been dispatched in those areas to educate people on the effective use of latrines or other sanitation systems, like chemical toilets, and encourage them to ensure that they wash hands with soap and safe water after toileting,’’ the official said.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), from Aug. 15, 2015 to Jan. 7, 2018, 33,421 cholera cases, including 542 deaths have been reported across all 26 regions of Tanzania.

Children under five years old accounted for 11.4 per cent of the cases.