By Mbeya Highlands FM Radio
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Cholera: What to know

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Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated. Cholera causing Vibrio cholerae has an incubation period of two hours to five days. 

It should be noted that dehydration is what kills a patient. Immediate administration of Oral Rehydration Salts will treat 80% of victims.

The first recorded report of cholera in Tanzania by the World Health Organisation was in 1974. 

Of all reported cases worldwide, 54% were in Africa.

Good Hygiene Habits

Cholera can be prevented by practicing good hygiene habits such as:

  • Boil drinking water
  • Treat water with chlorine tablets.
  • Wash hands with soap after using the toilet.
  • Wash hands with soap before eating food.
  • Always cover food after cooking
  • Wash fruits and vegetable before eating

Importance of Clean Water

The United Nations General Assembly recognized the right of every human being to have access to sufficient water for personal and domestic uses which must be safe, acceptable and affordable, and physically accessible.

Water is at the core of sustainable development

Water is critical for socio-economic development, energy and food production, healthy ecosystems and for human survival itself.

Water is at the heart of adaptation to climate change, serving as the crucial link between the society and the environment.

Water cannot be seen in isolation from sanitation because they are vital for reducing the global burden of disease and improving the health, education and economic productivity of populations.

Contaminated water and a lack of basic sanitation are undermining efforts to end extreme poverty and disease in the world’s poorest countries.

Unclean water and poor sanitation are a leading cause of child mortality. Childhood diarrhoea is closely associated with insufficient water supply, inadequate sanitation, water contaminated with communicable disease agents, and poor hygiene practices. Diarrhoea is estimated to cause 1.5 million child deaths per year, mostly among children under five living in developing countries.

Cholera statistics at local and regional levels

UNICEF ESARO, 2018 recorded that in the first two months of 2018, Dodoma had the highest reported cases of cholera sickness (313) and cholera deaths (12).  Kigoma recorded the worst case fatality ratio (CFR) at 4.3

Cases were reported in Iringa. Kigoma, Dodoma, Rukwa, Manyara, Songwe and Ruvuma. However, only Iringa, Kigoma, Dodoma and Rukwa have reported deaths in 2018.