Sunday, November 16, 2008

DR Congo: Cholera cases tripled in some areas to 150 a week - UN (OCHA) N. Kivu Situation Report 13 Nov 2008 - Cholera increase in N. & S. Kivu

What are the symptoms of cholera? How is it transmitted? How do you treat it? See answers here below, courtesy of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).

DR Congo:  Cholera

UN (OCHA) North Kivu Situation Report 13 Nov 2008 - Cholera increase in North & South Kivu

Novembre 13, 2008 UN (OCHA) rapport de situation humanitaire au Nord-Kivu:
Les pillages se poursuivent au Sud Lubero;
2,000 personnes traversent la frontière vers l’Ouganda portant à 12 000 le total;
Les cas de choléra triplent dans la zone de santé de Goma depuis le mois d’Octobre.

Contexte politique et sécuritaire

Selon des sources locales à Kirumba et Kanyabayonga, les militaires FARDC, des éléments PARECO ainsi que des bandits ont pillé les deux cités dans la nuit du 12 au 13 novembre. Deux personnes ont été tuées à leur domicile à Kirumba et la cité de Kanyabayonga s’est de nouveau vidée de sa population. La Police Militaire affirme avoir arrêté 18 militaires la même nuit

Les localités de Rwindi, Kibirizi, Mirangi situées respectivement à 20 km, 17 km et 10 km de Kanyabayonga (Sud Lubero) sont désormais sous contrôle du CNDP.
Click here for full report. Photo d’archive/OCHA
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WHO & health partners lead massive cholera response in E. DRC

November 13, 2008 (Goma/Geneva):
The World Health Organization (WHO) and health partners have launched an intensive operation to prevent and control the increase in the number of cholera cases, which have tripled in some areas to 150 a week, amid the recent escalation of violence in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Insecurity, massive population displacement (at least 250 000 people since early August), weak health services and a lack of safe water and proper sanitation facilities have caused a marked increase in the number of people with cholera in North and South Kivu. As yet no data is available on the number of deaths linked to the current outbreak, but generally in complex emergencies the case (...)
DR Congo

Photo: Télécharger OCHA - Rapport de situation humanitaire au Nord-Kivu du 12 novembre 2008. Photo d’archive/OCHA
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Symptoms of cholera, how it is transmitted, how you treat it (MSF)

From an article dated 2006 at Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) website:
What are the symptoms of cholera?

Watery diarrhea and vomiting, according to the case definition we are using. When people show those symptoms they are hospitalized, even if they are not too severe, because we never know, they might develop a severe cholera very fast. In addition to the patients that come directly to the CTC, we have a team that visits the smaller Cholera Treatment Units (CTU) in town to identify potential cases. A lot of them arrive in a severe state due to the fact that cholera develops very fast and people loose a lot of fluids. A case can get severe just in a couple of days.

How is it transmitted?

Through the food, but mainly through contaminated water. This outbreak is really due to a problem of water and sanitation. It affects first of all the most vulnerable people, those living in the poorest areas, with poor water and sanitation conditions.

How do you treat it?

Most of the cases that are hospitalized need intravenous fluids and oral rehydration salts (ORS) in order to replace the fluids they have lost. Normally, with this simple treatment they should recover promptly. It is only when a patient does not get better after a few days that we give him antibiotic.
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Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) - DRC 2008 Images

Each day during the current DRC crisis, MSF volunteers are providing specific images from the situation or work done in order to emphasize the conditions, work or simply the situation found on the ground by our staff.

MSF DR Congo 13 Nov 2008

Photo: A child with suspected cholera at the Don Bosco orphanage in Goma. About 40 cases of cholera have been treated by MSF here, where hundreds of displaced people have gathered. However most of these cholera patients come from Kibati. Nov 13, 2008 © Francois Dumont/MSF

MSF DR Congo 12 Nov 2008

Photo: Audio file attached Belgian nurse Laurence is organizing consultations at a mobile clinic in Karuba, Masisi district. Even though it is the first day of mobile clinics in the small health post of Karuba village, it is busy as more patients show up. Karuba has remained without medical assistance for months. Nov 12, 2008 © Francois Dumont/MSF

MSF DR Congo 11 Nov 2008

Photo: A child with suspected cholera on Saturday morning in Kibati. More and more suspected cholera patients are showing up at a health centre in KIbati. The existing structure was overwhelmed and other NGOs had suspended their activities. In a few hours, MSF installed a cholera treatment centre. On Sunday, shootings in Kibati caused panic and MSF was able to evacuate its more serious patients to Goma's general hospital. Nov 11, 2008 © Francois Dumont/MSF

MSF DR Congo 10 Nov 2008

Photo: On the open road in Kibati as people flee in panic as fighting is heard nearby. Nov 10, 2008 © Francois Dumont/MSF

MSF DR Congo 07 Nov 2008

Photo: It rains every day, now. It happens suddenly and people are caught in heavy, pouring rain and thunder. Roads that were filled just minutes before, empty and everyone scatters, desperate to find shelter under a tree, in a school or the local church. It rains for about 30 minutes then stops. The roads refill with people soon after. Nov 7, 2008 © Clio van Cauter/MSF

MSF DR Congo 06 Nov 2008

Photo: A father and his two manourished children, aged two and four, fled Rugari on Monday for Kibati. The father took the children and his wife along with some scant belongings. The walked almost 30 km and now they have no place to stay but have managed to stock their few belongings in a school. They have not eaten since Monday, apart from a few bananas. They sleep outside in the cold at night, and it rains everyday. The two boys, both malnourished, are coughing a lot. Nov 6, 2008 © Clio van Cauter/MSF

MSF DR Congo 05 Nov 2008

Photo: An MSF nurse is examining a child during MSF's mobile clinics in Kibati, about 15 km north from Goma. MSF teams have installed tents in Kibati where they carry out consultations and have provided 60,000 litres of clean water per day to the displaced population. Over the weekend MSF carried out over 100 consultations, mainly for malaria, respiratory infections and diahrreas. Now that other NGOs have started to return to the area, the number of consultations is decreasing. These diseases are directly linked to the dire conditions and the lack of hygiene where the displaced have been forced to live. It is estimated that up to 40,000 displaced people have sought refuge in Kibati. Nov 5, 2008 © Francois Dumont/MSF

MSF DR Congo 04 Nov 2008

Photo: A displaced child in Kibati, around 15 km north of Goma. Following the latest wave of violence, about 40,000 people have found refuge in and around Kibati, a village on volcanic rock. Most people here have been repeatedly displaced and are now living either with host families, in schools or under makeshift shelters made up of plastic sheets. MSF has been running mobile clinics in Kibati, mostly treating malaria and infections. MSF teams also vaccinate young children against measles and provide access to clean water in order to prevent outbreaks. Nov 4, 2008 © Francois Dumont/MSF

Source: Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF): Rue de Lausanne 78 - CP 116 - 1211 - Geneva 21 - SWITZERLAND Tel: +41 (22) 849.84.00 - Fax: +41 (22) 849.84.04

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