On April 23, 2022, the Government of Tanzania reported cholera cases in Uvinza District and Tanganyika District, both located in the west of the country. Approximately 40% of cases are children under five years of age.
On April 23, 2022, the Government of Tanzania reported cholera cases in Uvinza District (Kigoma Region) and Tanganyika District (Katavi Region), both located in the west of the country. By April 28, the outbreak had spread to other areas along Lake Tanganyika with a total of 129 suspected cases, including eight confirmed cases. Most of the affected locations were fishing villages with poor sanitation practices, including open defecation, and densely populated areas that have limited access to safe drinking water and lack adequate sanitation (1). Approximately 40% of cases were children under five years of age (2). By June 26, 2022, a total of 211 suspected cases and six cholera-related deaths were reported from Tanganyika District (case fatality rate = 2.9%) (3).
Genetic analyses of Vibrio cholerae strains has shown that Tanzania is at risk from imported cholera cases from neighboring countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is located on the opposite side of Lake Tanganyika (4). Indeed, a 2019 study of cholera hotspots in Tanzania has identified four hotspot areas covering 17 regions, including those surrounding Lake Tanganyika (5). Other hotspot areas identified included the central regions and regions around the lakes Victoria and Nyaza (5).
To stop the ongoing outbreaks, the Ministry of Health has established a task force and organizations are responding with a variety of interventions, including water, sanitation, health and hygiene measures, risk communication and community engagement (2).
1. IFRC. Tanzania: Cholera Outbreak - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA), DREF #MDRTZ031 [Internet]. 2022 May. Available from: https://reliefweb.int/report/united-republic-tanzania/tanzania-cholera-outbreak-emergency-plan-action-epoa-dref-ndeg-mdrtz031
2. ECHO. Tanzania - Cholera outbreak (DG ECHO, IFRC, WHO) (ECHO Daily Flash of 25 May 2022) [Internet]. 2022 May. Available from: https://reliefweb.int/report/united-republic-tanzania/tanzania-cholera-outbreak-dg-echo-ifrc-who-echo-daily-flash-25-may-2022
3. WHO. WHO responds to a Cholera outbreak in Katavi Region [Internet]. 2022 Jun. Available from: https://reliefweb.int/report/united-republic-tanzania/who-responds-cholera-outbreak-katavi-region
4. Hounmanou YMG, Leekitcharoenphon P, Kudirkiene E, Mdegela RH, Hendriksen RS, Olsen JE, et al. Genomic insights into Vibrio cholerae O1 responsible for cholera epidemics in Tanzania between 1993 and 2017. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2019 Dec;13(12):e0007934.
5. Hounmanou YMG, Mølbak K, Kähler J, Mdegela RH, Olsen JE, Dalsgaard A. Cholera hotspots and surveillance constraints contributing to recurrent epidemics in Tanzania. BMC Res Notes [Internet]. 2019 Oct 21 [cited 2019 Nov 22];12. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6805412/