A yellow fever outbreak in Angola that began late last year has killed 158 people, up from 50 a month ago, as deaths from the disease transmitted by mosquitoes accelerate, a World Health Organisation official said on Friday. According to Reuters, there has also been an increase in malaria, cholera and chronic diarrhea in Luanda and other cities, partly due to a breakdown in sanitation services and rubbish collection, health officials say.
City authorities have slashed their budget for rubbish collection to cope with a budget crisis, leaving piles of waste building up in poorer suburbs including Viana, where the first case of yellow fever was reported in late December. The situation has worsened since the rainy season began as heavy storms wash discarded waste and contaminated water into supplies used for washing and drinking.
The unsanitary conditions many poorer Angolans have to endure is not the reality in other areas of Luanda, which is one of the world’s most expensive cities for foreigners and home to generations of billionaire oil magnates and politicians.