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First Cholera Death in Weeks as Authorities Record 270 New Cases

First Cholera Death in Weeks as Authorities Record 270 New Cases

Mozambique’s health authorities recorded 270 new cases of cholera in the north of the country in the last two days of January, and the first death in almost a month, according to the latest official figures.

According to the most recent bulletin on the progression of the disease, drawn up by the National Directorate of Public Health and containing data up to 31 January, there had been an accumulation of 10,859 cases of cholera in the country since 1 October.

In the previous bulletin, with data up to 29 January, the total was 10,589 cases of cholera, which had so far claimed 25 lives.

There had been no official deaths from cholera in Mozambique since the beginning of January, but between 29 and 31 January the 26th fatality of the current outbreak was recorded, in this case in the province of Tete.

The lethality rate of the disease currently stands at 0.2% and there are 38 hospitalised patients in the country, according to the data in the bulletin.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is on Friday holding an extraordinary summit of heads of state and government with the aim of “analysing the health ministers’ report on the cholera situation” in the region, the office of Mozambique’s president announced.

“The event is expected to take decisions on the best strategies for tackling and containing this disease,” it stated.

The government last week announced that 29 districts were experiencing low-intensity outbreaks of the disease and that cholera had been completely eradicated in seven.

The province most affected by the current wave of this cholera outbreak is Nampula (north), with a total of 3,444 cases and 12 deaths, followed by Tete (north-west), with 2,148 cases and seven deaths.

The health authorities recently vaccinated more than 2.2 million people against cholera in five days in the districts most affected by the current outbreak, corresponding to practically full coverage compared to the programme.

Speaking to Lusa earlier, the head of the Ministry of Health’s extended vaccination programme, Leonildo Nhampossa, said that a total of 2,268,548 people over the age of one had been vaccinated against cholera in four provinces between 8 and 12 January.

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This “corresponds to one hundred per cent coverage,” said. “The objectives were fully achieved.”

The target group for this vaccination operation was 2,271,136 people, corresponding to the population living in the most vulnerable and hotspot areas for the current outbreak, the Ministry of Health previously stated.

According to information from the National Directorate of Public Health, the campaign was aimed at the population aged one year and over and was carried out in the districts of Chiúre and Montepuez (Cabo Delgado province), Gilé, Gurué and Mocuba (Zambézia), Mágoe, Moatize and Zumbo (Tete) and Maringue (Sofala).

This vaccination campaign mobilised 1,136 teams of 7,337 people, including vaccinators, mobilisers, registrars, supervisors, coordinators, data entry staff, logisticians and drivers, among others, and cost around $1.3 million (€1.19 million), including funds from the state and Mozambique’s aid and development partners.

Lusa

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