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Cholera in Tanzania (Update)

26 May 2015

The cholera outbreak in Tanzania is ongoing but with the help of international aid, appears to be stabilising. The risk of cholera, however, is still present as sanitation and living conditions remain very limited. As of 25 May, a total 4408 cases have been diagnosed and treated.

Refugees from Burundi are still entering Tanzania via Kagunga village, Manyovu border post and other unofficial entry points. As of 24 May, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported 5929 refugees at Kagunga, 40 519 in Nyarugusu, and around 4000 at Tanganyika Stadium.

The situation in the village of Kagunga has improved although the outbreak in general remains dire. Tanganyika Stadium and Nyarugusu refugee camp are areas under most pressure at present due to the massive influx of refugees and lack of adequate potable water, sanitation and healthcare.

WHO in conjunction with the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW), has deployed health experts to assist with case management in the Kagunga and Tanganyika Stadium Cholera Treatment Centres. Medicines and supplies sufficient to treat more than 60 000 people for cholera, acute watery diarrhoea, and malaria for three months have been dispatched to all three sites. Experts in Outbreak and Disaster Management, Surveillance and Data Management have also been deployed by WHO.

Other aid organisations responding to the crisis include UNHCR, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Tanzania Water and Environmental Sanitation (TWESA), CARITAS, Plan International, and World Food Programme (WFP).

(Via WHO Regional Office for Africa, Media Centre - accessed 26/05/15)

Advice for Travellers

Cholera is a low risk for most travellers. Travellers to outbreak areas who will be mixing closely with the local population and cannot ensure safe drinking water can be immunised against cholera. A high standard of food/ water precautions and personal hygiene should be maintained whenever possible.