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Cholera

Cholera kills up to 130,000 people every year, with millions more catching the disease. But in many situations, our teams have limited the death rate to less than one percent.  
 
Cholera often breaks out when there is overcrowding and inadequate access to clean water, rubbish collection and proper toilets. 
 
It causes profuse diarrhoea and vomiting which can lead to death by intense dehydration, sometimes within a matter of hours. 
 
Cholera is a serious risk in the aftermath of emergencies, like the Haiti earthquake of 2010, but can strike anywhere. The situation can be especially problematic in rainy seasons when houses and latrines flood and contaminated water collects in stagnant pools. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cholera affects three to five million people worldwide and causes between 100,000 and 130,000 deaths per year. 
 
MSF’s water and sanitation engineers and logisticians play a vital role in the prevention of cholera.  
 
In 2017, MSF teams treated 143,100 people for cholera.  

Inside Illeret cholera treatment unit
18/05/2020

Responding to Cholera as COVID-19 threatens Kenya’s health system

Heavy rains across Kenya and the wider region have led to floods and forced many people from their homes. Now, the town of Telesgaye, a community in Kenya’s north-east Marsabit County, is fighting a cholera outbreak.

Women fetching water at a water point in the informal settlement of Stoneridge in Southern Harare. MSF drilled the solar-powered borehole and trained the local community health club, who is now maintaining the site. Photo: Samuel Sieber/MS
25/02/2020

Water, waste, and vaccination: Fighting cholera and typhoid in Harare, Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe’s capital Harare, recurring outbreaks of cholera and typhoid fever are a pressing health concern. In many of the city’s suburbs, public water supply is unreliable, and leaking sewage pipes, pit latrines, and poor waste management contaminate the groundwater. Using innovative borehole technology and empowering communities to manage their own water points, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has developed a highly effective environmental health toolkit.

15/11/2019

Burundi: "Thankfully, my family all came back cured"

 A cholera epidemic has hit Burundi and its most densely populated city, Bujumbura but thanks to the fast response, there have been almost no deaths

Flooded areas around Pibor. [Photo: Léo Martine/MSF]
01/11/2019

A state of emergency declared as flooding in South Sudan ensues

The government of South Sudan has declared a state of emergency in 27 flood-affected areas across the country.

Embedded thumbnail for Treating People Amid Flood Disaster in South Sudan
01/11/2019

Treating People Amid Flood Disaster in South Sudan

The government of South Sudan declared a state of emergency on October 30 in response to widespread flooding. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams are active across the country, including in Pibor, an eastern town that is almost completely submerged.
Uprooted tree on Matemo Island, Cabo Delgado province after passage of Cyclone Kenneth
06/05/2019

Cholera and widespread destruction as second cyclone hits Mozambique

Five weeks after cyclone Idai caused widespread destruction in the Beira region of Mozambique, another Cyclone Kenneth hit the coast of Cabo Delgado province in the northern part of the country.

08/04/2019

Crisis update: MSF's response to Cyclone Idai

MSF emergency teams are responding to the devastating impact of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

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COVID-19 Coronavirus

Most of the world's countries have reported cases of coronavirus disease COVID-19 and MSF teams in over 70 countries are now racing to respond to the pandemic.  

Find out more  

Cholera

Cholera kills up to 130,000 people every year, with millions more catching the disease. But in many situations, our teams have limited the death rate to less than one percent.  
 
Cholera often breaks out when there is overcrowding and inadequate access to clean water, rubbish collection and proper toilets. 
 
It causes profuse diarrhoea and vomiting which can lead to death by intense dehydration, sometimes within a matter of hours. 
 
Cholera is a serious risk in the aftermath of emergencies, like the Haiti earthquake of 2010, but can strike anywhere. The situation can be especially problematic in rainy seasons when houses and latrines flood and contaminated water collects in stagnant pools. 

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), cholera affects three to five million people worldwide and causes between 100,000 and 130,000 deaths per year. 
 
MSF’s water and sanitation engineers and logisticians play a vital role in the prevention of cholera.  
 
In 2017, MSF teams treated 143,100 people for cholera.