Cholera declines among Congolese refugees in Burundi, UN says

20 July 2004

The United Nations humanitarian coordination office today said while the cholera outbreak among refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in Burundi has been brought under control, cases of meningitis seem to have appeared in the host population.

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) said if the meningitis cases were confirmed it would launch a vaccination campaign.

Meanwhile, some 500 Burundian refugees living in the DRC said they were ready for repatriation and some internally displaced persons (IDPs) returned home to the southern suburbs of the capital, Bujumbura, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. Others, however, expressed fear of an eruption of revenge attacks.

In another development, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that of the nearly 1,000 children who had been separated from their families just north of Bujumbura, more than 600 have been reunited. Another 251 children were taken in by host families and 86 more were waiting to be placed, OCHA said.


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