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19 february 2018

Cholera recedes in Kinshasa

On the heels of the 2017 cholera epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, case numbers have significantly declined in Kinshasa since the outbreak peaked in the capital on January 5th, 2018.

From January 29 to February 4, 2018 (week 5), a total of 59 cases were reported in Kinshasa, an optimistic trend compared with previous weeks (week 4: 116 cases, week 3: 166 cases, week 2: 189 cases). Furthermore, no cholera-related deaths occurred during week five. Out of the 30 health zones affected in Kinshasa during the current epidemic, only half reported at least one case during week five. The majority of these cases were reported in the health zones of Limete (31 cases), Kingabwa (4 cases), Binza Météo (5 cases), Masina 1 (3 cases), and Bumbu (4 cases).
 
The main outbreaks in the capital have been rapidly brought under control. Professor Bompangue has attributed the significant reduction in the number of cholera-related deaths to “the actions carried out in the field, especially door-to-door sensitization and the implementation of community chlorination points”. As of February 6, the Camp Luka CTU in Binza Météo Health zone reported only two new admissions, which are the only cases in hospital after three days with zero cases. The outbreak in Kinshasa originally started in Binza Météo, in late November 2017.
 
The current cholera epicenter in the city is located in the neighborhood of Pakadjuma (Industrial III, in Limete Health zone). In early February, the PNECHOL-MD (National Program for the Elimination of Cholera and the Control of Other Diarrheal Diseases) started installing ten water bladders donated by Veolia Foundation to quickly control the outbreak. Regideso is ensuring that the bladders are regularly filled thanks to funds provided by the National Ministry of Health.
 
The response teams continue to carry out door-to-door chlorination and awareness, household disinfection of cases, chemoprophylaxis distribution to immediate contacts, as well as systematic investigation of new cases and new sources to adapt community actions. In anticipation of the final cholera cases in Kinshasa, biological samples from all suspected cases are being systematically tested to confirm residual Vibrio cholerae-positive cases and monitor the end of the outbreak.