Emergencies preparedness, response

Cholera in Chad, Mozambique and Zambia

28 January 2004


The Ministry of Health has reported a total number of 131 cholera cases and 11 deaths (case fatality rate 8%) in Chad from 24 November 2003 to 5 January 2004. The outbreak is located in Moundou, the principal town in southern Chad, approximately 500 km from the capital, N'djamena. The outbreak occurred after the collapse of the water system. With no access to safe drinking water, the population used polluted water from wells and from the Logone river.

The Ministry of Health is carrying out control measures and disseminating health education messages about the dangers of drinking contaminated water.


The Ministry of Health has reported a total of 3699 cases and 19 deaths between 20 December 2003 and 20 January 2004 in 3 provinces (Maputo, Gaza, Sofala). Maputo province is the most affected, with an average of 140 cases per day occurring in Maputo city. A cholera emergency was declared by the Ministry of Health on 9 January 2004. WHO and other agencies, including UNICEF, Médecins sans Frontières, World Food Programme and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), are supporting local health authorities in containing the outbreak.


As of 22 January 2004, the Ministry of Health reported 1721 cholera cases including 70 deaths (case fatality rate 4.06 %) in Lusaka district, especially in periurban areas of Lusaka city which were recently affected by floods. The outbreak started on 28 November 2003 and has spread to four other provinces (Southern, Copperbelt, Northern and Central). There is a high risk of further spread to other parts of the country.

The Health authorities have implemented measures to control the outbreak but more supplies for treatment are needed.