Cholera Affecting Refugees In Eastern Congo, MSF Reports

“The first case of cholera has emerged among thousands of people in an impromptu refugee camp in eastern Congo who fled fighting between a new rebel group and government forces backed by U.N. peacekeepers,” according to Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), the Associated Press/Washington Post reports (Muhumuza, 8/3). The first case was detected on Friday, and since then at least nine people have died of the disease, MSF said, according to Al Jazeera (8/5).

Patrick Wieland of MSF “said humanitarian agencies are delivering water to the camp but people probably are collecting the water with dirty containers,” and he added there are not enough toilets for the 10,000 to 20,000 people who fled violence in the northern towns of Rutshuru and Kiwanja, the AP notes. “Valerie Amos, the U.N. under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, is scheduled to visit Congo and Rwanda [this] week to ‘draw attention to the deteriorating humanitarian situation,’ the U.N. said Friday,” according to the AP (8/3).