Cholera surges in Africa: Over 110,000 cases in 5 months

  • 114,000 cholera cases reported in Africa in 2024 so far
  • This is more than all the cases in 2022 and half of cases for all of 2023
  • There is a global shortage of cholera vaccinations

In the first five months of 2024 more than 110,000 cases of cholera had been reported in Africa. This is half of the total reported in 2023 and more than all the cases in 2022.

A year ago a cholera outbreak hit South Africa claiming the lives of 47 people. The disease spread quickly in areas with poor sanitation and limited access to clean water. Hammanskraal, near Tshwane, was heavily affected, drawing attention to the area’s inadequate infrastructure.

Globally, cholera remains a significant threat. In January 2023, the World Health Organization classified the global cholera outbreak as an acute grade 3 emergency. At the time, 27 countries around the world had reported cholera, some of which hadn’t had a case of the disease in decades.

In many countries the fatality rate was well above the target of one death per 100 cases. The situation was not helped by a shortage of cholera vaccines.