Cholera figures declining

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pretoria - The number of reported cases of cholera was declining, the Minister for Health Barbara Hogan said on Monday.

"We are seeing very welcomed declining figures; the cases of cholera is really going downwards."

Minister Hogan said however, that despite the declining figures, her department was monitoring the situation everyday through teams on the ground,

Addressing reporters at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the minister said as of 7 March 2009, the reported cases of cholera deaths was 59 and there were 12 324 reported cases since the outbreak in November.

She said this presented a case fatality rate of 0.49 % - which was way below the World Health Organisation rate.

Minister Hogan said while the disease was still present; her department had seen a decline in the number of cases. The most affected provinces were Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

She said the incidence of cholera in the other provinces was relatively insignificant.

Meanwhile, the United Nations World Health Organisation has announced that 88 000 people have now been affected by cholera in Zimbabwe, however, the number of new cases reported weekly is dropping.

At the start of the year, as many as 8 000 new cases were being reported per week at the national level, but over the past few weeks, that number has been slashed by half.

Nearly 4 000 people have died from the disease, which is caused by contaminated food or water, the agency said.