TANZANIA — Minister of Health Ms Ummy Mwalimu has stated that six areas are still dealing with cholera outbreaks, urging regional commissioners and health sector executives to continue implementing steps to restrict the disease’s spread.

The Minister made the revelation during a press briefing in Dar es Salaam, where he was presenting a report on the status of health service provision in 2023.

These areas include Shinyanga, Ruvuma, Tabora, Simiyu, Mwanza, and Kagera.

In Kagera,  four patients have been confirmed to have contracted cholera in Bukoba Municipality and admitted to Nshambya District Hospital for treatment,  according Bukoba District Commissioner (DC) Mr Erasto Sima

Reports from Mwanza Regional Medical Officer (RMO) Dr Thomas Rutachuzibwa indicate that 28 people have contracted cholera of which 21 were from Magu district, and the remaining seven from Nyamagana district.

Speaking during the conference, she praised Regional Commissioners and Health Sector executives at the regional and council levels for their continuous efforts to tighten supervision in order to restrict the disease’s spread.

According to the minister, in 2023 cholera outbreak was reported in 12 regions of which 927 patients and 27 deaths were reported.

Arusha region was leading by having 214 cases but there was no death reported while in Mara a total of 193 cases and eight deaths were reported and in Simiyu 184 cases and two deaths were reported.

According to the Ministry of Health (MoH) officials, cholera is an infection of the bacterium Vibrio cholera with symptoms that may range from none, mild, to severe.

Vomiting and muscle cramps may also occur. In extreme cases, diarrhoea can occur within hours leading to severe dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.

It is spread mostly by water and food that has been contaminated with human faeces containing the bacteria.

Globally, nearly 30 countries have reported cholera cases since the beginning of the year, with the WHO African Region being the most impacted, where 16 countries have reported cases.

Citizens have been urged to take preventative steps, such as washing their hands with soap before eating and after using the restroom, and to boil or treat their drinking water.

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