March 15 (Reuters) – Mozambique recorded an increase in the number of cholera cases in the last few weeks, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, even as many other African countries reported a decline.
The country has received approval for an additional 1.3 million cholera vaccine doses to help control the spread, the agency said, but the shortage of vaccines still remains to be addressed.
Mozambique’s neighbor Malawi, which has been battling the deadliest cholera outbreak in its history, was now seeing a sustained decline in cases and deaths, WHO official and epidemiologist Dr Otim Ramadan said.
Zambia, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia are also responding to cholera outbreaks.
The progress to bring down the transmission of the disease in Malawi in the last four weeks may reverse quickly due to severe devastation caused by the Tropical Storm Freddy, Ramadan warned.
Overall, cholera cases and deaths in Africa have been declining over recent weeks.
So far this year, more than 40,000 cases have been reported in Africa, with Malawi accounting for more than half and Mozambique recording about 15%, WHO reported.
The agency’s officials warned that there could be a high number of cases by the end of the second quarter, if comprehensive response is not taken to stop further spread of the disease.
Reporting by Raghav Mahobe and Bhanvi Satija in Bengaluru; Editing by Shweta Agarwal
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