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Cameroon-Cholera : Human Rights Watch Calls For A Release Of Some Prisoners in Douala

The international human rights organization urges the government to free some detainees of the New Bell central prison Douala threatened by a contamination from the epidemic.

A total of seven people incarcerated in the New Bell central prison in Douala, recently died of cholera. The news was made public by the Minister of Public Health Manaouda Malachie. And despite the response to the epidemic which marked an upcoming in Cameroon at the end of October 2021, the chain of contamination has not yet been broken. The Douala central prison being one of the main centers of the disease in the Littoral region.

Within such a frame with a highly described threat that resides within the penitentiary, the lives of other prisoners could be in danger. The risk is more real when we know that this penitentiary is overcrowded. It houses at least 3,500 people, a figure four times higher than its normal capacity planned when it was built for about 700 inmates.

Moreover, some outlet likely disclosed that prisoners do not benefit from quality health care in New Bell. The prison benefits from a drug budget of 8 billion CFA francs per year, which appears to be insufficient to cover the needs.

Reason why Human Rights Watch pleads for the release of people threatened by this wind of cholera vibrio contamination. The organization makes its request in a recently released statement.

Since October 2021, the cholera epidemic has been progressing in the country. During the Cabinet Council on March 31, 2022, the Minister of Public Health, Malachie Manaouda announced that the country had 2,097 positive cases and 67 deaths. At the beginning of April, statistics showed 4,627 positive cases, including 126 in the Littoral Region and 100 cases in the South West Region. 29 health districts in six regions are affected. Of the six regions concerned, the South-West region and the Littoral region are the most affected.

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