In 2011, Chad and other sub-Saharan African countries were affected by a large-scale cholera epidemic. By late November, more than 17,200 cases of cholera (the largest number since 1996) and 459 deaths had been recorded.
In August, during the height of the epidemic, up to 1,250 cases were recorded each week. One-third of those were in the capital city, N’Djamena. At that time, 350 national and international Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) employees were managing 23 health care facilities in Massakory, Am Timan, Abou Deia, Bongor, Mandelia, Pala, Fianga, Lere, Laï and N’Djamena. “The 2011 peak was the continuation of the epidemic that broke out in the region in 2010,” says Michel-Olivier Lacharité, MSF program manager in Chad. “This explains its two very specific features: an early increase in the number of cases, well before the rainy season, and a significant geographic spread, with 37 of the country’s 61 districts affected.”
Photo: Chad 2011 © MSF