Resurgence of cholera kills 150 people in Cameroon

More than 150 people have died during a resurgence of cholera in Cameroon over the last eight months, the United Nations said on Monday.

“The health ministry registered 8,241 cases and 154 deaths,” to the end of May, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

Seven of the West African nation’s 10 regions have reported cholera cases.

The worst-hit is the English-speaking Southwest with 5,628 cases and 90 deaths, followed by the Littoral with 2,208 cases and 58 deaths, OCHA said.

Access to the Southwest “remains difficult” after years of violence between anglophone separatists and the army, said OCHA’s Cameroon office head Karen Perrin.

Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that is treatable with antibiotics and hydration but can kill within hours if left untreated.

Outbreaks occur periodically in Cameroon, which has a population of more than 25 million. The last epidemic occurred between January and August 2020, when 66 people died.

According ot the World Health Organization, researchers estimate that each year there are between 1.3 million and 4.0 million cases of cholera worldwide, leading to between 21 000-143 000 deaths.