Over 20,000 people have been infected in Cameroon since the start of the cholera epidemic in October 2021, and 481 have died, we learn from a recent report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The document reports that "while the number of reported cases was relatively low between November 2022 and March 2023, a significant increase has been observed since March 2023 in the Centre region, making it the new epicenter of the epidemic.”
In fact, "between August 9 and 23, 2023, 228 new cases of cholera, including 6 deaths, were reported in the Centre, Littoral, West and South West regions (i.e. a case-fatality rate of 2.4%)," the document informs. OCHA points out, however, that according to the Ministry of Public Health, the figures could be higher than those reported, as many people prefer not to go to hospital for treatment.
The report points to limited access to drinking water in certain areas, poor water, hygiene and sanitation conditions, low vaccination coverage, population movements, inadequate infrastructure, and health personnel, as well as limited implementation of preventive measures by the population as factors contributing to the recurrence of the cholera epidemic in the country. In addition to the Centre region, the Littoral, South, West, and South West regions are also affected by the epidemic.