Cholera Epidemic Spreads In DRC; Efforts To Combat Disease Remain Underfunded, U.N. Reports

“A cholera epidemic has spread to nine out of 11 provinces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the United Nations said on Tuesday,” SAPA/News24 reports (Gold, 2/21). “Health authorities in the Republic of Congo have recorded 340 cases of cholera, nine of them fatal, since June 2011, in the northern district of Likouala, and have warned that the disease continues to spread and that some health centers lack sufficient treatment,” IRIN reports (2/21).

Efforts to combat the spread of cholera in the country “remain underfunded, the United Nations humanitarian office reported [Tuesday], saying the lack of access to potable water is the single most important cause of recurring outbreaks of the disease in the country,” the U.N. News Centre reports, adding, “Over the past six months, the U.N.-managed Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has allocated more than $13 million to support the fight against cholera, according to Elisabeth Byrs, spokesperson for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva” (2/21).