Rwanda

Cholera outbreak claims 10 lives in Rwanda

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KIGALI, Jan 6, 2006 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- An outbreak of Cholera in the suburbs of Rwandan capital Kigali has claimed ten lives, according to Maria Gorreti Maama of Masaka hospital on Friday.
"The first case was reported on December 29 last year in Masaka district," she said, adding that by January 5, a total of 68 cases had been reported to the hospital.

Cholera is a gastrointestinal disease that is spread by drinking contaminated water and can cause severe diarrhea.

"Severe stomach pain, dysentery and vomiting are the most common symptoms reported by all the patients," Maama said, adding that the numbers kept increasing.

She advised area residents to report any suspected cases and also warned them to maintain cleanliness.

State Minister in charge of AIDS and other Epidemics Dr. Innocent Nyaruhirira visited the affected area to console the victims.

The delegation was briefed about the outbreak, with officials at the hospital saying the disease was caused by dirty water from the Nyabarongo River.

They appealed to the authorities to repair the broken pipes for the residents to get clean and safe water.

The Rwandan Ministry of Health, the UNICEF office in Kigali and the Red Cross, have so far intervened and put in place measures like providing safe drinking water, to remedy the situation.

The organizations have also donated tents, drugs, gloves, gumboots and other materials to the hospital.