Africa’s Cholera Outbreak: What Journalists Need to Know

Several African countries are seeing an alarming upsurge in cholera cases.

According to the World Health Organization, 26,000 cases and 660 deaths have been reported as of 29 January 2023 in 10 African countries facing outbreaks since the beginning of the year. That compares with 80,000 cases and 1,863 deaths in 15 affected countries in all of 2022. Malawi is the hardest hit as cholera cases have been found in all of Malawi’s 29 districts. Cases are appearing in bordering countries and beyond.

Making the crisis more severe is the flow of misinformation; health facilities have been attacked as rumors about the safety of the cholera vaccine and misconceptions about safe burial protocols abound. To give us the facts on the outbreak we were joined in this Media Dialogue by Dr. Otim Patrick Cossy Ramadan, Regional Epidemiologist with the World Health Organization in Nairobi. Jaya Shreedhar, Internews Media Mentor, advised journalists on how they can cover this crisis while debunking the harmful fake news that is circulating about the cholera outbreak.