A picture taken in the Lake Tanganyika stadium in Kigoma, on May 22, 2015 shows patients a nearly empty treatment clinic. Picture: Daniel Hayduk

Dar es Salaam - An ongoing cholera outbreak starting in Tanzania’s commercial capital Dar es Salaam has killed 54 people since August, the United Nations (UN) said in a report released on Wednesday in the east African nation.

Latest figures from the report also show that 3 559 others were suspected or confirmed to have contracted the disease.

The UN said in the report that measures being taken to halt the outbreak were being overpowered by the rate of new infections.

According to the report, in Dar es Salaam alone 2 668 cases of patients with excessive diarrhoea have now been registered, and 33 deaths have occurred due to cholera, adding that the disease was now reported to have spread fast to 11 other regions.

The country’s national task force comprising of the regional and municipal authorities and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare was holding weekly meetings in response to the epidemic, said the report.

It said that the task force was also trying to co-ordinate a countrywide response to the outbreak.

“Despite these efforts, cholera transmission continues, particularly in Dar es Salaam,” said the report, adding that water and sanitation infrastructure in the affected communities in Dar es Salaam was very weak.

“Assuring adequate safe water to effectively control the outbreak therefore remains a major challenge,” said the report.

The report said an epidemiological analysis has revealed that in Dar es Salaam where the disease was first reported there were weak infrastructural services, which made it difficult to control the outbreak in the near future.

Nsachris Mwamwaja, spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, said Wednesday it would still prove difficult to contain the outbreak if the communities were not well informed on the basic control measures.