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16 october 2017

Meeting on the unprecedented cholera epidemic occurring in DRC at this time

Faced with an unprecedented cholera epidemic which has exceeded a reported 30,000 cases so far this year, primarily in the Eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dr. Ilunga Kalenga, Minister of Health, visited US Government and International agencies in early October seeking financial and material assistance. He was accompanied in his mission by Dr. Didier Bompangue, Coordinator of the National Program for the Elimination of Cholera and other (water borne) Diarrheal Diseases, and Jonathan Simba Kai, in Charge of the Ministers office.

Meeting about the unprecedented cholera epidemic which occurs in RDC

Left to right Dr. Dennis Warner, G.A.A.C. Council ; Dr. Antar Jutla, G.A.A.C. Council ; Dr. Oly Ilunga Kalenga, Minister of Health, The Democratic Republic of Congo ; Dr. Rita Colwell, G.A.A.C. Council ; Dr. Didier Bompangue, Coordinator of the National Program for the Elimination of Cholera, The Democratic Republic of Congo ; Jonathan Simba Kai, Chief of the Minister's Cabinet ; John Oldfield, Advocacy Advisor to the G.A.A.C. Council ; Sy Rotter, Secretariat of the G.A.A.C. Council.

Visits were made to USAID, the State Department, the C.D.C. (U.S. affiliate of the World Health Organization) and to Council members of the Global Alliance Against Cholera and Other Waterborne Infectious Diseases (G.A.A.C.). While the results of their visits to the official agencies remain unclear at this time, Dr. Kalenga stated his Governments great appreciation for the long-standing humanitarian work of the Veolia Foundation, originator of the G.A.A.C. Council!
 

Dr. Rita Colwell, Council Member of the G.A.A.C. and Dr. Didier Bompangue, Coordinator of the National Program for the Elimination of Cholera, The Democratic Republic of Congo.

This he explained, was for its ongoing advocacy campaign to focus on the prevention of cholera, citing the example of the Foundations leadership in the organization and funding of the Uvira, South Kivu, potable water generation and distribution rehabilitation project! When completed, this activity will assure an uninterrupted supply of effectively treated water to be made available throughout the 250,000 population living in this major Eastern Congo urban center.

It was Dr. Bompangue's recommendation that the G.A.A.C. Council members present, and those unable to participate, continue their advocacy for prevention of cholera among the principal funding and material resource agencies with which they were associated! Details on the dimensions of the epidemic, current and projected, as well as on the financing and material resources needed to end the current crisis are available through the G.A.A.C. Secretariat.