How can someone die from diarrhea?
This week (January 29), I gave a talk at Lawrence North High School. As part of my talk, I covered the impact of the International Rescue Committee's new mortality study for Congo. That study estimated that 5.4 million people had died in the last 10 years. I explained that almost all (99 percent) of the deaths were from nonviolent causes such as malnutrition, malaria, and diarrhea. One of the students stopped me and asked, "How can someone die from diarrhea?". I answered by questioning the students as to what does their mothers do when they have diarrhea. Drink water, eat soups, drink medicated fluids or Gatorade, etc. I explained in the Congo, mothers did not have those things and could not go the store to obtain them. Also, they may not have a medical facility (like Community North Hospital or Medchek clinic). Finally, the water was probably the source of the contamination and would make matters worst. Therefore, they would die of dehydration. So, diarrhea is a preventable and treatable disease that can cause death. Actually, cholera is the disease and diarrhea is a symptom. Picky-Picky!
Today, I read that southeastern Congo in the Province of Katanga. Home of RICHEST mining district in Congo. Lubumbashi, the capital is the second largest city in Congo.
Doctors without Borders (MSF) reported the following via Reuters. "Since the beginning of January, MSF has recorded more than 1,700 people with cholera in the cities of Lubumbashi, Bukama and Likasi. All these people came from the poorer areas where bad hygiene conditions, combined with high population density, contribute to the flaring up of this extremely contagious disease. An alarming situation for a contagious disease that kills up to 50 percent of patients, if left untreated." http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/fromthefield/MSFIntl/120160597272.htm
Another news report put the death toll about 60 deaths and over 2000 "reported" cases. http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5h_mZVe7yblgr94tqsiTYDhhnw7Dw