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38 Killed, 2,500 Affected By Cholera In SW 

By Carine Takusi *

Southwest Delegate of Public Health, Dr. John Chuwanga, has revealed that cholera has killed 38 people in the Region.

The Delegate made the disclosure to The Post on Tuesday, July 5, while giving an update of the cholera situation in the Region. He said the pandemic has affected some 2,500 people so far, since its outbreak in November 2010. According to Dr. Chuwanga, Limbe, Tiko, Mbonge, Kumba, Muea, Mutengene and Ekona have been hardest hit, recording the highest number of victims.

The Post learnt that Muea is highly affected due to the poor sanitary conditions in the area. When your reporter visited Muea on Tuesday, the place was littered and wanting in hygienic conditions as dwellers of this roadside settlement throw dirt in standing water. Foodstuff is sold near garbage heaps, while latrines have been constructed near kitchens.

Also, many of the dwellers here have constructed houses without toilets. It is easy to find children eating without washing their hands, after playing around this dirty surrounding.
The Post tried talking to some inhabitants at the Muea Health Centre, where there were cases of cholera, but most of them shied away.

However, the Buea Health District Chairman, Joseph Youdjeu Siulatcha, whom The Post met at the health centre, expressed worry at the situation. He said, besides Muea, another locality near Mile 17, Bulu, has been freshly affected. Going by him, the Muea health district officials, alongside the Chief of Muea, David Molinge, have been making efforts at curbing the disease in the area.

Measures To Curb Spread

Speaking earlier, Dr. Chuwanga said the situation of cholera in the Region has been well managed as only 38 death cases have been recorded, so far, of the 2,500 people that have been affected. He said long and short term measures have been put in place to stop the cholera spread in the Region.

"The Delegation decided to kick-start with short term measures, which are based on sensitising the population on the pandemic; educating them on how to use disinfectants and also on the availability of drugs for infected persons," he said. With regards to long term measures, Dr. Chuwanga disclosed that it involves various services of the administration at the local level.

These services include the Delegation of Health, the Buea Council, the Regional Delegation of Water and Energy, and the water distribution company, SNEC. These would all work together to ensure improved hygiene and sanitation in the area. He expressed optimism that with these measures, the cholera situation will be checked.

*(National Polytechnic Student On Internship)

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