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Health ministry ramps up efforts in response to global cholera outbreak alert   |13 February 2024

The Ministry of Health has expressed its concern with the rise in the number of cholera cases worldwide as reported by the World Health Organisation.

In a press release issued yesterday, the ministry stated that based on the large number of outbreaks and their geographic expansion, alongside the shortage of vaccines and other resources, the World Health Organisation (WHO) continues to assess the risk at global level as very high.

The WHO African Region remains the most affected region, with 17 countries reporting cholera cases between January 1 and December 15, 2023. Six countries are categorised as being in acute crisis: Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Mozambique, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

This month, the Indian Ocean island country of Comoros has also reported an outbreak of cholera, read the statement.

“To date Seychelles has not reported any case of cholera. Given the global situation, the proximity and interaction of Seychelles with the African continent as well as the Asian continent, the country remains at risk of having imported cases of cholera,” said the ministry.

“The Ministry of Health is strengthening its surveillance and preparedness to detect, isolate, treat any cases of cholera to prevent further spread,” it further added.

Cholera is a virulent disease transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated food or water. It can cause severe acute watery diarrhea and the severe forms of the disease can kill within hours if left untreated.

Most people infected with cholera bacteria do not develop any symptoms. It takes between 12 hours and five days for a person to show symptoms. Among people who develop symptoms, the majority have mild or moderate symptoms. A minority of patients develop acute watery diarrhea with severe dehydration.

This can lead to death if left untreated. Cholera is preventable and can ultimately be eliminated where access to clean water and sanitation facilities, as well as good hygiene practices, are ensured and sustained for the whole population.

Over 95% of the population of Seychelles have access to treated water supply and adequate sanitation.

The Ministry of Health is urging the public to be vigilant and to ensure they continue to practice strict hygiene.

  • If access to treated water supply or safety is uncertain, boil water for at least one minute before drinking, cooking, or personal hygiene.
  • Always wash hands with soap and water after going to the bathroom.
  • Wash hands with soap and water before handling food or eating
  • Ensure safe preparation and conservation of food.
  • Be particularly concerned about hygiene and food safety measures when travelling.

“It is our hope that you all take individual responsibility towards your health needs, as government continues to serve everyone, leaving no one behind,” concluded the press release.


Press release from the health ministry



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