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DRC Reports Threefold Increase In Malaria Cases In Rebel Stronghold

“There has been a threefold increase in the number of malaria cases recorded in the former M23 rebel stronghold of Rutshuru, in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) North Kivu Province, compared to past years,” IRIN reports, noting health officials say ‘[i]nsecurity is exacerbating the spread of the disease.” “Between 2009 and 2012, the cumulative number of malaria case has never exceeded 25,000 per year. But just in 2013, as of [November 20], we had 76,343 cases, of which 27,340 were children younger than five,” Félix Kabange Numbi, DRC’s health minister, told IRIN, the news service writes. “According to Numbi, the situation is ‘under control,’ with response activities ongoing,” IRIN continues, noting, “Supplies from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, such as medication, rapid diagnostic kits and other supplies, have been dispatched to health facilities in Rutshuru. A blood collection campaign is also planned” (11/27).