Cholera kills 48 people in Mozambique
MAPUTO (Reuters) - An outbreak of cholera has killed 48 people in Mozambique, the health ministry said on Wednesday, compounding humanitarian problems after floods hit the southern African country.
"We registered 4,325 cholera cases nationwide since the first of January," said health ministry spokesman Martinho Djedje. "From this figure we had 48 people dead."
Doctors Without Borders said it had treated 450 cholera patients in the Zambezi valley, where the water-borne disease spread after the area was heavily damaged by flooding.
The humanitarian organization said in a statement eight of them had died. "This figure is added to the 64 other deaths ... from diarrhea ... reported by municipal authorities two weeks ago," it said.
Mozambique is among a handful of southern African nations that have been pelted with torrential rains in recent weeks, causing rivers to burst their banks and forcing thousands of villagers to flee flooded homes.
At least 45 people have died in the region from the floods.
"This (cholera) is our major challenge in the aftermath of the floods when the waters are subsiding, and malaria is also another threat," said Djedje.
(Reporting by Charles Mangwiro; Editing by Catherine Evans)