Cholera epidemic hits CAR

2011-10-01 11:02

Bangui - A new cholera epidemic has hit the Central African Republic and has already claimed at least 10 victims in the south, Health Minister Jean-Michel Mandaba said on Friday.

His comments came the day after a health services source sounded the alarm that cholera had killed six people in the Limbo region, 20km from the capital Bangui.

"The government of the Central African Republic would like to officially declare that there is a cholera epidemic in the [southern] health zones of Ombella-Mpoko and Lobaye, leaving at least 10 people dead," Mandaba said.

The minister called for calm and urged the local population to go about their usual business while "scrupulously respecting basic hygiene and cleansing measures".

Mandaba also urged the country's "bilateral and multilateral partners" to provide financial and technical aid.

Two months ago, health authorities warned of the danger of an outbreak due to the presence of cholera in nearby countries.

There have been fatal cases of cholera in northern Nigeria, Chad, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.