Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo
Boko Haram terror group hindering efforts to stave off disease

A cholera epidemic in northern Cameroon has killed at least 65 people and probably infected about 1,300 people in two months, as international attention has been diverted to fighting Ebola in West Africa, health experts said on Saturday.

According to a 2011 government survey, 54 percent of rural households have only cesspools or open holes, whilst 50 percent use drinking water from unprotected wells or surface water.

According to a 2011 government survey, 54 percent of rural households have only cesspools or open holes, whilst 50 percent use drinking water from unprotected wells or surface water.

Highlights

By Misha Hussain and Tansa Musa, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/3/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Cholera, Cameroon, unsanitary conditions, deaths, Boko Haram


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - They said the insurgency by Islamist sect Boko Haram was also hampering efforts to control the outbreak.

Some 185 suspected cholera cases were recorded last week alone in the outbreak focused on the Mogode, Hina and Bourha districts on the turbulent Nigerian border. The death toll is expected to climb as more cases are confirmed by laboratory testing.

SAVE Iraqi Christians from Genocide --

Atilio Rivera-Vasquez, public health adviser in the region for International Medical Corps, said Cameroonian health authorities were diverting resources to impose checks at border crossing and airports for Ebola, after it killed more than 700 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

"This is distracting from an appropriate and fast response to this cholera epidemic," Rivera-Vasquez said.

He added that the violent activities of Boko Haram in neighboring northern Nigeria partly explained why the outbreak was not being brought under control.

Cameroon has some 100,000 double-doses of an oral cholera vaccine that showed high efficacy in a 2012 trial in Guinea. However, insecurity in the north has deterred the government from immunizing.

The cholera outbreak has shown a worrying increase in mortality in the last few months, he said, rising to 4.8 percent or more than double the 2 percent maximum cited in World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.

Julian Schlubach, from the European Union's aid agency, ECHO, said the situation was alarming because the rainy season - the worst time for cholera - still lay ahead.

ARRIVED FROM NIGERIA

Cholera is an acute intestinal illness that brings severe stomach aches, diarrhoea and vomiting, causing severe dehydration and even death if untreated. It is commonly contracted by drinking water or consuming foods contaminated with cholera bacteria.

The first three cases in Cameroon were reported in late April in the Far North region after a Nigerian family crossed the border to receive treatment.

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said some 60,000 refugees have fled into Cameroon, Niger and Chad from northern Nigeria, where fighting between the government and Boko Haram has killed thousands in the last six months. Some of them are carrying the disease.

"People in northern Nigeria cannot get to health clinics in time due to the awful security situation and that's one reason why they come across the very porous border where they have family or tribal ties," said Rivera-Vasquez.

Some 24,683 cholera cases have been reported in Nigeria since the beginning of the year, according to the Assessment Capacities Project, a consortium of international NGOs which check humanitarian needs in emergencies and crises.

In Cameroon, a country of 22 million people, outbreaks of the disease cause alarm because of poor sanitary conditions, particularly in rural areas.

According to a 2011 government survey, 54 percent of rural households have only cesspools or open holes, whilst 50 percent use drinking water from unprotected wells or surface water.

The mortality rate for those infected ranges between one and 50 percent, depending on access to treatment. A similar outbreak in Cameroon killed more than 4000 people in 2011/12.

The current outbreak is the first major epidemic since then.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More Africa

Obianuju Ekeocha: Defending Human Dignity by Defunding Planned Parenthood Watch

Image of

By Obianuju Ekeocha

My country (Nigeria) has worked hard to eradicate completely through laws and societal codes, the dark elements within it that hurt and harmed men, women and children in the centuries past.Today my people bask in both the wonderful splendor of culture and the ... continue reading


Minnesota dentist accused of hunting famous African lion, Cecil, faces extreme backlash from the world Watch

Image of Walt Palmer pictured with previous hunting kill.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

PETA or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has stated that the dentist accused of killing the famous lion Cecil in Zimbabwe needs to be "extradited, charged and, preferably, hanged." MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - It has been revealed to the ... continue reading


Kenyan women beat starvation by 'sack farming' Watch

Image of The method has created employment and generated income for both rural and urban dwellers, and has proved to be a good way for farmers to adapt to the effects of climate change, he added.

By Caroline Wambui, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Central Kenya's Nturukuma region is not kind to farmers - its erratic rainfall, desert vegetation and drying riverbeds push most people into making a living through trade rather than agriculture. NTURUKUMA, Kenya (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Jane Kairuthi ... continue reading


Two soldiers injured during a terrorist attack in Algeria Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

Algeria continues to pay for its fight against terrorism. After a deadly attack perpetrated in the region of Ain Defla on July 17, against an army patrol, terrorist groups reappeared in the eastern region of Batna on July 27 with an attack against a military barrack. ... continue reading


Algeria holds international conference on stopping radicalization around the world Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

Radicalization is a generic phenomenon that plagues all democratic societies. The radicalization of armed groups, that carry out attacks everywhere worldwide, challenges all governments at the highest level. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - This perspective was ... continue reading


Malian authorities dismantle terrorist training camp Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma

The security situation never seemed better in the sub Saharan region, particularly Mali. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - Sometimes when the country's army takes over, it is a good thing; as is the case with the dismantling of a terrorist training camp, last week, ... continue reading


11 Algerian soldiers killed in country's bloodiest terrorist attack Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

Friday, July 17, 2015, known as the first day of the Muslim Eid Al-Fitr, celebrated after the end of Ramadan, became one of the bloodiest days in Algeria. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - The Algerian army lost at least 11 soldiers in an ambush claimed by Al-Qaeda ... continue reading


Displaced Africans flee to neighboring countries with little - or no prospects Watch

Image of Witnesses from the State Department and international humanitarian organizations testified that social chaos in sub-Saharan Africa has created a full-blown humanitarian crisis.

By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News

Plagued by wars, terrorism, and repressive governments, sub-Saharan Africa is in the throes of a humanitarian crisis that the international community is not ready to address, witnesses testified on Washington, D.C.'s Capitol Hill. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN ... continue reading


Kenya plans massive nude march to reject Obama's support for homosexuality during visit Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kenya plans to hold a unique demonstration on July 22 and 23 for President Barrack Obama's visit. According to Kenya's Republican Liberty Party, the protest intends to rally 5,000 men and women. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - Vincent Kidala, the party's ... continue reading


African countries spike up security as terror threats grow toward end of Ramadan Watch

Image of The night life in Algeria is full during Ramadan.

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

In the opinion of many throughout Algeria, the security policy created by the country's leaders worked well. Terrorist attacks appear to have been avoided, with no recent painful tragedy shaking the country. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - During the 1990s ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Leviticus 23:1, 4-11, 15-16, 27, 34-37
1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:4 "These ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 81:3-4, 5-6, 10-11
3 blow the trumpet for the new month, for the full ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:54-58
54 and, coming to his home town, he taught the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 31st, 2015 Image

St. Ignatius Loyola
July 31: St. Ignatius was born in the family castle in Guip˙zcoa, Spain, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter