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Cholera in Africa

A map of the African continent with countries where activities occurred in green.

See large version of Africa map with country-specific cholera information.

Cholera, largely eliminated from industrialized countries by water and sewage treatment over a century ago, still remains a significant cause of illness and death in many African countries.

In the twenty-first century, sub-Saharan Africa bears the brunt of global cholera. The region is broadly affected by many cholera cases and outbreaks that can spread across countries 1.

The percentage of people who die from reported cholera cases remains higher in Africa than elsewhere. This reflects the lack of access to basic health care because of cholera’s simple treatment of rehydration therapy 2.

Many African countries face the dual challenges of improving both cholera treatment—access to basic health care, and prevention—improved water and sanitation systems.

Improving global access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is a critical step to reducing Africa's cholera burden.

Publications, Data, & Statistics

Please see the Africa-Specific Publications section on the Publications, Data, & Statistics page.

  1. Gaffga NH, Tauxe RV, Mintz ED. Cholera: a new homeland in Africa? Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2007;77:705-13.
  2. WHO. Cholera 2011. [PDF - 16 pages] Wkly Epidemiol Rec. 2012;87: 289–304.
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