United Nations Call For Help: Cholera Epidemic in Congo

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The present health problem that the Democratic Republic of Congo is now facing is the widespread epidemic of cholera in the said locality. Various health organizations and government entities are already making its strategies and measures in order to help the people of Congo to prevent the spread of the said disease, also to cure those individuals who are affected by the cholera.

The problem is as well beyond the aspects of health; also, the problem extends to monetary and financial problem especially that strategies and plans in order to prevent and halter the further development of the epidemic in the said locality needs a huge number of money. Recently, the United Nations (UN) called for monetary help because they urgently need about 5.5 million dollars or about 4.1 million Euros to combat the increasing health problem of cholera in Congo.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion and consumption of food or water which is considered contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera – the pathogen which initiates the progress of the disease cholera. Also, the disease has a short incubation period which is usually observed from about one to five days.”

“Cholera signs and symptoms include: a copious, painless, watery diarrhea, vomiting, rapid heart rate, dry mucous membranes, excessive thirst, and muscle cramps. These clinical manifestations if not given immediate medical intervention can lead to severe dehydration which can put the life of a person to danger and which can even lead to death.”

The United Nations (UN) is now battling against cholera in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Various plans, strategies and health measures are being implemented in the said locality. This involves mechanisms on making more sanitary water systems which can give safe and potable water supply to the residents of Congo, also implementation and widespread awareness regarding proper sanitation and about the disease process of cholera especially its mode of transmission is made extensive to the general public. However, about 3 million dollars amount of money is estimated by agencies in order to construct safe water ways systems and about 2.5 million dollars is needed for medical care in the four provinces located along the Congo river.

According to the Science in Africa, the first online science magazine in Africa, “According to the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), a total of 1076372 cases and 10 098 deaths were reported in the region of the Americas by June 1995. In 1999, a total of 254310 cases and 9175 deaths were officially notified to WHO. However, poor surveillance and fear of international stigmatisation and sanctions lead to underreporting of official numbers by affected countries. Estimates indicate numbers closer to 120000 deaths and many more cases per year.”

Elisabeth Byrs from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said: “This $5.5 million is really urgently needed because the rainy season is set to begin.”




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