2 dead following cholera outbreak in Burundi's Bujumbura province: health official

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BUJUMBURA, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Two persons have died of cholera following an outbreak of the epidemic in Mutimbuzi district in the province of Bujumbura, western Burundi, precisely at the Kajaga beach on Lake Tanganyika, a provincial health official told Xinhua on the phone on Sunday.

"After hearing the statement from the health minister on the cholera outbreak in some parts of the commercial capital Bujumbura, I held a coordination meeting with heads of health districts and heads of hospitals as it is done routinely. We were told about a diarrheic syndrome observed at the beach of Kajaga on Lake Tanganyika," said Joel Nibigira, health director in Bujumbura province.

According to him, health officials then made an urgent field visit to the Kajaga beach and discussed with fishermen who confirmed the presence of the diarrheic syndrome there.

"They (those fishermen) confirmed the presence the diarrheic syndrome and added that seven cases have already caught the disease. Two of them died," said Nibigira.

He indicated that among the survivors, three were admitted to the Kajaga medical hospital while two others were referred to Prince Regent Hospital in Bujumbura.

"Samples were taken on them and sent to the National Public Health Institute (INSP) which confirmed the presence of cholera in those samples," he said.

"Faced with that situation, in collaboration with the administration, we have taken measures including a robust sensitization on hygiene measures to avoid the propagation of cholera," said Nibigira.

On Jan. 1, Burundian Public Health and AIDS Control Minister Sylvie Nzeyimana declared an outbreak of cholera in the east African country's commercial capital Bujumbura.

In a press release, she said that nine suspected cholera cases had been identified on Dec. 30, 2022 in the northern health district in the commercial capital Bujumbura with symptoms of diarrhea and vomiting, mainly in the Bukirasazi neighborhood in Kinama zone.

The next day, two other suspected cases were identified in the Mutakura neighborhood, close to Bukirasazi.

The cholera outbreak happened at a time when heavy rains hit several parts of Bujumbura and its surroundings from Dec. 26 to Dec. 31, causing overflows of toilets. Enditem

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