Several infectious disease outbreaks in the southern African country of Angola is overloading health services and compromising the health of citizens in the country, according to a statement by Health Minister Luis Gomes Sambo.
Luis Sambo said the country has been vulnerable to epidemics of yellow fever, malaria, cholera, Zika and HIV/AIDS during a recent press conference in Luanda.
He confirmed that the cholera epidemic currently affects three of Angola’s 18 provinces, namely in Cabinda (73 cases and 3 deaths), Zaire (174 cases and 8 deaths) and Luanda (5 cases and zero deaths), for a total of 252 Cases and 11 deaths.
He urged the population and the local governments to follow the recommendations and take the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the disease. “Measures must be taken to prevent the spread of the epidemic including the need to consume safe drinking water and to educate the population about prevention and personal hygiene practices,” he said.
In addition, Angola has recently reported three confirmed cases of Zika virus, including in a woman who gave birth to a child with microcephaly in the Angolan province of Bengo.
The Minister of Health also drew attention to the 2016 malaria epidemic that he described as “one of the worst, with more than 3 million cases in 2015, and another 4 million cases in 2016.”
In December, the country declared a year long yellow fever outbreak in which a total of 4306 suspected cases and 376 deaths, of which 884 cases and 121 deaths were laboratory confirmed.
Luis Sambo did some positive highlights to include reducing neonatal, infant and maternal mortality, as well as an increase in life expectancy at birth that in the last ten years has increased from 41 to 61 years.
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