DR Congo

Cholera outbreak narrowly avoided in Mbuji-Mayi

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Monique, 32, lives in Diulu Commune in the heart of the city of Mbuji-Mayi, capital of Kasai-Oriental province. She had to attend the burial of her husband, aged 45, following the cholera epidemic in Ngandajika territory, Lomami Province, 80 km from the city of Mbuji-Mayi.

Monique had gone on a business trip where her husband was living, a trip that unfortunately turned into a nightmare. When she arrived in Ngandajika, she found her husband hospitalized and drained by the diarrhea. She barely had time to talk to him through the half-opened window of the hospital where he was admitted before he died. After the funeral, Monique went home to Mbuji-Mayi without any precaution.

A life-saving intervention

Returning to her home, she had the chance to meet Francis, the Community Mediator for the Community Animation Cell (CAC) Dinanga who was making home visits to his neighborhood in Lusenga. Having learned of this lady’s story, Francis alerted the president of the CAC that a suspected case of cholera had been identified. The information went back to the District Chief, the Mayor, and then the Chief Medical Officer of the health zone who quickly deployed a specialized team to take care of Monique and disinfect the house and its surroundings.

Without the fruit of this community work and prompt interventions of the local actors, cholera would be devastating the city of Mbuji-Mayi. The risk of contamination was great given the favorable factors to the spread of the disease: density of the population, overcrowding, insalubrity, and absence or shortage of drinking water and hygienic toilets.

The witnesses say that it was the work of the Community Mediator who thwarted the disaster and averted the worst for the entire community of Mbuji-Mayi.

Community Mediators, the life saviors

It should be noted that this is not the first time that the CAC Diulu save lives. About two months ago, three girls raped by criminals benefited from medical and psychosocial care within 72 hours after the CAC raised the alarm to the politico-administrative and health authorities.

Translated from French by Dorsaf N. James