Cholera worries Dos Santos
According to a Press release issued to The Southern Times, the measures to be taken include relocating families living in cholera-prone areas, mostly unplanned and overcrowded shanties. A technical team has since been set up to specifically deal with the situation. By press time, cholera had claimed at least 1,500 lives in the diamond and oil-rich country that three years ago saw the end of a three-decade-long war, which killed thousands of people. The World Health Organisation said in Luanda that the diarrhoeal disease that broke out in February had claimed 1,514 lives from more than 40,557 cumulative cases. In its latest update on the epidemic that has affected 13 of Angola’s 18 provinces, the WHO said 282 new cases of the disease and six deaths were recorded within a 24-hour period. Luanda Province alone, where cholera erupted in slum districts of the capital on February 13, continues to bear the brunt of the epidemic and 275 fatalities have occurred from over 20,781 cases. This is what has prompted Dos Santos to declare what is being referred to as a national disaster. According to a Press statement from the Angolan President’s office, the plan to fight the disease would be carried over a period of six to 12 months. “It should include concrete measures to speed up the resettlement of families in critical (vulnerable areas) regions,” said Dos Santos. Other measures being put in place include the improvement of the supply of potable water, purchasing water tanks for areas without piped water and the setting-up of a well managed system for collection and treatment of garbage in residential areas. The civic authorities have also been asked to properly plan markets that are being built around the country to avoid such outbreaks. The order from Dos Santos says the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA) must co-ordinate all such interventions.