Cholera outbreak in Cameroon

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WHO has received reports from the Ministry of Health of a total number of 2924 cases and 46 deaths in Cameroon from 1 January to 9 June 2004 in Littoral and West Regions. Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor has been laboratory confirmed.

The outbreak, which was under control in Douala town in the Littoral region in March (see previous report ) has started again with the onset of the rainy season in early June.

The Ministry of Health is working with other ministries to carry out comprehensive control measures in response to the outbreak. Seventy physicians from Yaoundé have been sent to Douala to support case management in cholera treatment centres.

The Ministry of Health met with members of the donor community, nongovernmental organizations, and international agencies, including representatives from the WHO Country Office on 7 June to decide a common strategy to tackle the crisis.

The WHO Regional Office for Africa is providing specific technical support with a team comprising an epidemiologist and an expert in social mobilization. A water and sanitation engineer provided by the French Government will join this team.

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