Four deaths in Kagwema due to cholera

Two kids, a 17 year-old man and a 60 year-old man have already died in a week due to cholera disease in Kagwema area of Gihanga Commune in Bubanza western Province. Quentin Marc Ngendakumana, chief of Kagwema hill, says the symptoms of the affected people are diarrhea and vomiting. “We rush the affected people to the hospital and ten of them are already receiving treatment”, says Ngendakumana.

Kagwema inhabitants draw water from Rusizi River

Kagwema inhabitants draw water from Rusizi River

He, however, says the hospital is so far from the affected area. “We must walk about ten kilometers to reach Gihanga Health District”, he says.

The local chief says the Red Cross has already intervened by disinfecting the area and distributing tablets to put into water to be drunk. “We don’t have drinking water and it is the main cause of the disease. We draw water from Rusizi and Gatunguru rivers”, he says.

The Kagwema chief urges health officials to immediately intervene when they are alerted. “An ambulance should be made available to rush patients to the hospital in order to be treated as soon as possible and prevent them from infecting others”, says Ngendakumana.

Health officials in the locality call on inhabitants to improve hygiene conditions especially by boiling and filtering water from the rivers before using it.

The National Institute of Public Health [INSP] has confirmed by means of laboratory exams that it is cholera. The Ministry of Public Health also calls on the population to consult health services in case of acute diarrhea. Thaddée Ndikumana, spokesperson for the ministry says a contingency plan has been put in place for a year and adds that the care is free of charge. “Medicines are necessary to cure the disease as soon as possible”, he says. Ndikumana also says there are many cases of cholera in the DRC, Burundi’s neighboring country in the western side. “Residents of Kagwema travel easily to the DRC and some suspected cases of cholera have been detected in the locality”, he says.

In August, the acting governor of South Kivu in DRC, Gabriel Kalonda Mbulu declared the presence of cholera epidemic in his province. More than 2700 cases were recorded including 22 deaths from January to August 2017.