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Cameroon rolls out cholera vaccination campaign after outbreak

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Africanews

Cholera epidemic

Cameroon has begun vaccinating people against Cholera. The waterborne disease recently resurfaced in the central African country after going several months without reporting a single case.

Since last March, at least 1,890 cases of the disease have been detected. The ministry targets to vaccinate 33,600 people - mostly urban dwellers.

Cholera outbreaks are recurrent in Cameroon's slums and neighborhoods which lack proper water drainage infrastructure and sanitation facilities.

"Concerning the epidemiological situation of cholera in Cameroon, you know that this disease is a permanent threat in our country, and at the moment several regions are declared at high riskt," said James Longsi, a public health specialist.

Teams from the minsitry of health are visiting suburbs to conduct sensitization before handing out the oral vaccines.

In the Youpwe district of Douala, vaccinations teams have been greeted by a reluctant public, with some people questioning whether the vaccines are not repackaged Covid-19 jabs.

Cameroon's port city has reported over a dozen cases and one death from Cholera.

"Yes, it is understandable that with Covid19, people are reluctant to be vaccinated. But this vaccination in Cameroon is not the first. The greater North of Cameroon has experienced campaigns that have had no consequences on the health of the population, on the contrary we have had a decrease in cholera cases since the implementation of this campaign (...) And it must be said, the vaccine used in this campaign is safe and effective," said Longsi.

Cameroon normally registers Cholera cases during and after its rainy season.

The vaccine is being given to women, men and children aged one year and over.

Cholera is a serious acute infectious disease characterized by watery diarrhea, vomiting and can kill a person within hours.