Burundi/Tanzania: Cholera Outbreak - May 2015

Disaster description


On 13 May 2015, 15 cases of acute diarrhoeal disease among Burundian refugees in Tanzania were reportedly negative for cholera. However, on 16 May, two samples from the Nyarugusu camp in Kigoma region tested positive, and the number of acute diarrhoea diseases cases rapidly climbed to over 1,000 cases. On 17 May, 13 additional samples tested positive for cholera. (WHO, 19 May 2015)

The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) of Tanzania has notified WHO of new foci of cholera outbreaks in the country. As of 13 October, 13 regions have been affected, namely Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Pwani, Kigoma, Kilimanjaro, Iringa, Dodoma, Geita, Mara, Singida, Shinyaga, Mwanza and Zanzibar. As of 19 October, the cumulative number of cases is 4,835 cases, including 68 deaths. The region of Dar es Salam accounts for 72% of all reported cases (3,460). Zanzibar has reported 140 cases. (WHO, 21 Sep 2015)

On 11 November 2015, IFRC launched Emergency Appeal which was revised on 19 December to scale up the response to the growing cholera outbreak for some 226,000 people.

In January-March 2016, [n]ew regions began to experience cholera transmission, include Iringa, Manyara and Mbeya. There was an increase in new cholera cases in Morogoro, Mwanza, Mara, Dodoma, Singida, Arusha and Simiyu. In April-May 2016, [...] new Cholera cases are still being reported in regions across Tanzania mainland, there is a reduction in the new cholera cases and deaths in the hot spot regions. (IFRC, 31 May 2016)


As of 18 May 2015, the Burundi Health Ministry confirmed 11 cases of cholera under treatment in the Nyanza Lac health center in the southern Makamba Province, which borders Tanzania (OCHA, 18 May 2015).

As of 21 May, more than 2,400 suspected cases of cholera, including 33 deaths, had been reported among Burundian refugees in Tanzania; on the Burundi side of the border there are 15 suspected cholera cases. (UNICEF, 21 May 2015)

The cholera outbreak in Nyanza Lac Commune, Makamba Province is now under control with only one case reported in the treatment centers in the last two weeks. Since the outbreak on 14 May, a total of 181 cholera cases have been reported. (OCHA, 31 Jul 2015)

Two cholera outbreaks were declared in 3 different districts in southern Burundi, with a cumulative total of 22 cases with no deaths reported in 2016. All patients have been treated in a timely manner as a result of preparedness, including the prepositioning of cholera kits in cholera-prone health districts. To address timely and quality reporting of cholera, UNICEF continued its support to the MoH by providing training on Rapid Pro to healthcare workers in cholera-prone districts and provinces. (UNICEF, 30 Jun 2016)

Affected Countries

Latest Updates

Maps and Infographics

Other disasters affecting the countries