1999 - Cholera, Democratic Republic of the Congo
09 December 1999
Disease Outbreak Reported
Since the beginning of November, 74 cases of cholera and 4 deaths have been reported in the areas of Kinshasa worst affected by current flooding of the Congo river and its tributaries. Investigations by the Ministry of Health with the collaboration of WHO are in progress and preventive and control measures are being implemented. Rising water levels have caused breakdowns in the water-supply system, resulting in a significant risk of contamination. Local authorities, with the help of NGOs, have already evacuated around 20 000 people. The current level of flooding is affecting an area inhabited by 2 million people, and it is feared that the peak level has not yet been reached. The total population of Kinshasa is 7 million.
A crisis committee has been set up by the Minister of Health in which UN agencies, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations are participating. They are currently visiting the affected sites. An international response is being organized and some countries and agencies have already mobilized funds for the provision of food and other supplies.