Mozambique declared a cholera outbreak in central Zambezia province on Monday, according to an official, with no fatalities reported.
It should be recalled that the World Health Organisation, WHO, announced a polio epidemic in Mozambique on Wednesday after the virus was discovered in a child living in the northeastern Tete district, the country’s first case in nearly three decades.
It is pertinent to mention that Cholera was last recorded in the province in 2019.
“Since the outbreak of acute diarrhoea started in Quelimane city, we have had a cumulative of 47 patients hospitalised,” the province director of health services, Óscar Haward, told journalists at a press conference.
In April, the neighboring province of Sofala reported 30 cholera cases.
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
It continues to be a global threat to public health as well as an indicator of inequity and a lack of social development.
In Mozambique, cyclones may have contaminated food and water. Since the beginning of this year, the southern African country alongside with neighboring ones has been hit by five cyclones, leaving the population in desperate need of large-scale humanitarian assistance.
Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in the world, with the majority of its population living on less than $1 per day, and ranks 181st out of 189 countries on the UN Human Development Index.
Mozambique declared a wild poliovirus outbreak last week after confirming that a child in the country’s northeastern Tete province had contracted the disease.
This is the second imported case of wild poliovirus in southern Africa this year, following an outbreak in Malawi in mid-February, according to the WHO Regional Office for Africa.
So far, the lone case is the country’s first since 1992. In late March, the infected child began to experience paralysis.
According to the WHO, genomic sequencing analysis indicates that the newly confirmed case is linked to a strain that was circulating in Pakistan in 2019, similar to the case reported in Malawi earlier this year.
Polio is primarily transmitted through contaminated water and food, or through contact with an infected person. The virus can cause paralysis, which can be fatal in some cases.
After eliminating all forms of wild polio in the region, Africa was declared free of indigenous wild polio in August 2020.
In response to the Malawi outbreak, Mozambique recently conducted two mass vaccination campaigns in which 4.2 million children were immunized against the disease.
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