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. 1,500 Cholera Cases In Flood-Hit Mozambique

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by Staff Writers
Maputo (AFP) Feb 07, 2006
More than 1,500 cases of cholera have been recorded in flood-stricken Mozambique, especially in the worst-hit central region, a senior health official said Tuesday.

"Since the start of this year, we have received in our hospitals 1,506 cholera patients of whom three died," deputy director for health Martinho Dgedge told AFP.

The deaths occurred in the central province of Sofala, one of the worst hit by the floods, he said.

Mozambique's ambassador to Portugal on Monday said the southern African nation was bracing for a cholera epidemic.

"We expect that at any moment cholera will spread to the entire country, especially the areas worst-affected by the heavy rains," ambassador Miguel Mkaima told a Lisbon news conference.

Cholera is highly infectious and is mostly caused by consumption of contaminated food and water in poor sanitary conditions. It leads to severe diarrhoea, dehydration and sometimes death.

At least 21 people have died since December as a result of heavy rains which have swept the entire country, where tens of thousands of families have been affected by the rising water.

The rainy season in Mozambique begins in December and usually lasts until March.

Last month Mozambique officials asked international donors for some 20 million dollars (16.6 million euros) to help it provide disaster relief in the country, which currently only has 150 boats and 1,000 tents to provide emergency aid.

In early 2000, about 1,000 people lost their lives in floods that caused widespread devastation in Mozambique, which is also struggling to rebuild after a 16-year war that ended in 1992.

Source: Agence France-Presse

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Deadly Meningitis Outbreaks In Drought-Stricken Kenya, Uganda
Nairobi (AFP) Feb 07, 2006
At least 12 people have died in the past two weeks from an outbreak of meningitis in drought-stricken northern Kenya, officials said Tuesday, warning of an epidemic of the fatal disease.

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