news-21062024-072744

The number of cholera cases in Mayotte is now approaching 200, according to a new update provided by the French health agency on Friday, following a global summit on vaccine production in Africa where Emmanuel Macron called for “putting cholera in the past.” As of June 18, 2024, 193 cases of cholera have been reported in Mayotte, with 172 locally acquired cases and 21 “imported from the Comoros or countries on the African continent,” according to Santé publique France’s weekly epidemiological report.

Over the course of a week, 27 new cases have been reported, including 17 on June 18 alone, “the day after gatherings for a religious celebration,” the agency added. Since the beginning of the epidemic, two deaths, including that of a three-year-old girl, have been recorded in the archipelago of around 320,000 inhabitants. Mayotte currently has three active cholera transmission hotspots, all in the municipality of Mamoudzou. A new hotspot was detected in the Doujani neighborhood, following the gatherings for the religious celebration, according to the agency.

“The ongoing community transmission of cholera in the municipality of Mamoudzou, and the risk of importing new cases from Africa or the Comoros, where the situation is still not under control, particularly in Anjouan, expose Mayotte to a risk of local transmission in the short and long term throughout the territory,” SPF warns. This risk is “particularly high in the most vulnerable neighborhoods, as long as access to clean water and sanitation is not satisfactory.”

The neighboring Comoros archipelago, which has been hit by a cholera epidemic for four months, has recorded 134 deaths and 8,734 cumulative cases, according to a report released on June 13 by local health authorities. Emmanuel Macron called on Thursday to “put cholera in the past,” as an epidemic is “severely affecting half of Africa” and the French department of Mayotte, neighboring the Comoros, is also “affected.”

The French president announced that a “production chain for cholera vaccines can be deployed in Africa” by the South African laboratory Biovac, whose investments will be supported “as a priority” by a new financial mechanism. So far, the South Korean company EuBiologics is the sole provider of oral vaccines. The French company Sanofi stopped its production at the end of 2022.

France has faced criticism for not taking the necessary measures, particularly for access to clean water, to prevent a cholera epidemic on its own territory, in Mayotte.