he Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has reported more than 41,000 cases of cholera, resulting in 314 deaths, making it one of the largest cholera outbreaks in the world this year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said Friday.
As the complex health crisis in the DRC has worsened since the beginning of 2023, cholera cases flared up once again in the country, with cases concentrated in the conflict-affected east, after a few years of declining cases, said the WHO in a statement.
After an initial peak in April 2023, about 1,000 cases have been reported each week, the WHO said, noting that larger and longer-lasting outbreaks mean additional challenges for health workers, who are already overstretched, responding to a number of diseases in extremely challenging circumstances.
In October 2023, the DRC government initiated a plan to eliminate cholera from the country by 2030.
Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera. It remains a global threat to public health and serves as an indicator of inequity and social development gaps.
According to the WHO, researchers have estimated that every year, there are 1.3 to 4 million cases of cholera and 21,000 to 143,000 cholera-related deaths worldwide.