The North West Region (NWR) risk having a cholera epidemic due to the high rate of mobility among internal displaced persons especially from the affected regions (Far North, North, Centre and Littoral). This was revealed by the NW delegate of public health Dr Kingsley Che Soh, during the launch of activities to prevent and control cholera in the region, on the 24th of October 2018, at the NW Regional Fund for Health. While presenting the case of cholera to actors and inhabitants of region, Dr Kingsley Che Soh highlighted the health risk involved in the transport system of Bamenda as crowded buses eases the transfer of cholera from affected individuals to healthy ones. The overcrowding in households is also risky as any infected person will easily spread the disease to the rest. He further advised that the best way to prevent Cholera is through personal hygiene. In 2010, 9 districts in the NWR were affected by cholera with a recorded 7.6% death rate with Bafut being the most affected.
Representing the NW Governor, Nkwelle Ngome, Inspector General of Services at the Governor’s office, urged the population to step up efforts on hygiene so as to block the way of a cholera outbreak in the NWR. All sectors of the region are expected to work together to keep the region cholera free.
This campaign is organized at a time; Hysacam is having difficulties discarding public garbage which has caused the overflow of dirt from trash cans into neighborhoods. This is unhealthy as flies that visit the garbage are also the same flies that roam around and drop their eggs on food. By doing so, they increase the risk of individuals contracting salmonella, which causes typhoid fever, food poisoning, enteric fever, gastroenteritis, and other major illnesses which might lead to Cholera.
Cholera is an acute, diarrhea illness caused by infection of the intestine with the toxigenic bacterium Vibrio cholerae serogroup O1 or O139. Cholera infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe. Approximately one in ten (10%) infected persons will have severe disease characterized by profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. In these people, rapid loss of body fluids leads to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours.
In July 2018, Cameroon health minister Andre Mama Fouda declared the outbreak of cholera in Cameroon which has so far recorded a 507 cases in four regions (Far North, North, Centre and Littoral),
In the days ahead, there will be general sensitization on cholera through public talks and media channels. It should be noted that the treatment of Cholera is free in all hospitals in Cameroon.