ARUSHA, Tanzania, May 22 (Xinhua) -- At least seven people have died from cholera outbreaks in western Tanzania's district of Sumbawanga, authorities said Tuesday.
Halfan Haule, Sumbawanga District Commissioner, said that about 166 cases of the disease have been registered, just ten days after the killer disease was reported to hit the area. Sumbawanga is one of the three districts of Rukwa Region.
Cholera is an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water and can lead to death if untreated.
Haule revealed this when speaking during the regional health committee, which met to discuss strategies to combat cholera and prevent Ebola outbreak, which has been reported in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
He said that cholera was lastly reported in the region in November 2017 and was successfully eradicated in March this year.
According to the official, the first case was reported on May 12 and areas which that been affected by the disease include Maenje, Milepa, Kapaenta, Mkusi, Tunko and Laela villages.
The official attributed the frequent outbreak of the disease to the paddy harvesting season, saying farmers are used to drink unboiled water when camping at the farms to harvest.
He said the district is also facing a shortage of water treatment liquids (chlorine dioxide) or water guard.
Bonifas Kasululu, Rukwa regional medical officer, said they have established special camps equipped with all necessary gears for health attendants and patients.
Joachim Wangabo, Rukwa Regional Commissioner, also directed local government leaders to start registering all the residents with the aim of identifying newcomers.
He stressed the need for stakeholders and the regional government to put in place strategies that will completely eradicate cholera.
"We can eradicate cholera by educating our people on the importance of drinking boiled water and ensuring cleanliness of the environment and home utensils", he said.