Efforts to stem cholera in Tanzania appear to be working

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UNHCR is trucking in clean water as one of the responses to the cholera outbreak in the Kagunga area of Tanzania. © UNHCR/B.Loyseau

A reduction in cholera cases among Burundian refugees and locals in Tanzania's Lake Tanganyika region, has been confirmed by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The agency says the cholera epidemic, which has been spawned by a massive influx of people fleeing political unrest in Burundi, has claimed 30 lives.

Catherine Hasselberg reports.

Since early April, 100,000 Burundians fleeing political unrest have crossed borders to seek safety in neighbouring countries.

The first case of cholera was reported among the Burundian refugees and locals in villages on Tanzania's Lake Tanganyika.

The UN Refugee agency announced on Tuesday that United Nations-backed measures to contain the deadly epidemic in the region appear to be working amid a tapering off in the number of reported deaths.

Adrian Edwards is UNHCR spokesperson in Geneva.

"In all, 4,408 cases have so far been reported but the number of new cases daily has fallen to around 100 from a peak of 915 on 18 May. The reduction in cases is largely due, we think, to the concerted approach to contain the spread of the outbreak through intensified measures to promote hygiene. For now the situation is improving but clearly resolving it fully will take several weeks." (24")

The UN World Health Organization has confirmed that the cholera situation was improving but warned that the risk of transmission remained high due to limited access to shelter, toilets, water and essential medical care.

Catherine Hasselberg, United Nations

Duration: 1’09″

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