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About Cholera in Eastern and Southern Africa (ESA)

Global situation

Cholera is on the rise with an estimated 1.4 billion people at risk in endemic countries and an estimated 3 million to 5 million cases and 100,000-120,000 deaths per year worldwide. New, more virulent and drug-resistant strains of Vibrio cholerae continue to emerge, and the frequency of large protracted outbreaks with high case fatality ratios has increased, reflecting the lack of early detection, prevention and access to timely health care. These trends are concerning, signal a growing public health emergency and have gained the interest and investment of UNICEF at all levels.

Regional overview

Cholera is endemic in at least half of the 21 countries in the UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa region. In 2016, more than 70,000 cholera cases were reported in 12 countries in the region. The Eastern and Southern Africa region accounted for 68 per cent of cases reported in Africa as a whole, with just 4 East African countries making up 61 per cent of all cases reported in Africa: Ethiopia (31 per cent), Somalia (15 per cent), the United Republic of Tanzania (9 per cent) and Kenya (6 per cent). The case fatality rate in Eastern and Southern Africa was 1.5 per cent which is above the World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold of 1 per cent.

Learn more about cholera in the region through the following sections:

          An Integrated and targeted approach in cholera preparedness, emergency response and long term intervention.

          key facts on cholera epidemiology and strategic interventions by country

         Bi monthly bulletin with up to date epidemiological information and resources about cholera in the region

         A webmap with the current cholera outbreaks in the region