GOMA, 26 Aug 2005 (IRIN) - Hundreds of former militiamen now serving in the Democratic Republic of Congo's 4th army Brigade deployed to the troubled northeastern district of Ituri have been infected with cholera, Defense Minister Adolphe Onusumba said on Thursday.
"The information we have so far is that 236 are infected and ten others have died," he added.
A quarantine site has been set up in the town of Beni, South Kivu Province, for the sick.
"Médecins sans frontières-France (MSF) has made available medical personnel, a tonne of medicines, and tents; while OXFAM has built latrines and has set up a temporary water treatment plant," Patrick Lavand'Homme, Ocha's humanitarian affairs officer and head of office for Goma, said.
The chief medical consultant of the Goma Health Zone, Dr Alain Kambale, said the soldiers were ill before leaving for Ituri.
"They spent five days to Kinyogote, using untreated water from Lake Kivu and it is in Kinyogote, 10 km of south Goma, that we discovered the first case of cholera which has now appeared in Goma," Dr. Kambale said.