May 17, 2006

Death toll in cholera epidemic over 1.200

A cholera epidemic has claimed 1.246 lives with more than 35.000 people ill with the disease, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced. Cholera, a highly infectious waterborne disease that causes severe diarrhoea, is present in large swathes of Angola, whose health care system has not recovered from a 27-year civil war that ended in 2002. According to the UN, only 50% of Angolans have access to safe water. In Luanda, Angola's capital of four-million, more than two-thirds of residents live in shantytowns.

Angola is sub-Saharan Africa's second largest oil producer after Nigeria, and is currently enjoying an economic boom, registering double-digit growth and receiving billions of dollars in revenue from oil. But about 70% of its population lives in poverty. (Sapa/AFP/Mail & Guardian, South Africa)

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