More than 500 people have died so far in a cholera epidemic that is sweeping the Democratic Republic of Congo, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.
Outbreaks of the water-borne disease occur regularly in Congo, mainly due to poor sanitation and a lack of access to clean drinking water.
But this year’s epidemic, which has already hit at least 10 urban areas including the capital Kinshasa, is particularly worrying as it comes as about 1.4 million people have been displaced by violence in the central Kasai region.
The WHO said at least 528 people had died and the epidemic had spread to 20 of Congo’s 26 provinces.
“The risk of spread remains very high toward the Grand Kasai region, where degraded sanitary and security conditions further increase vulnerability in the face of the epidemic,” the WHO said in a statement.