The first case of a cholera outbreak in the Comores islands, northwest of Madagascar, was registered in Grande Comore in January 1998.
As heavy rains hit the islands, the number of new cases rapidly increased. MSF sent in an emergency team at the request of the Ministry of health and set up cholera camps in two hospitals and a health centre.
This consisted of organisational and technical back-up on the medical side, and logistical help included setting up an isolation area in each hospital, building latrines and washing areas, and ensuring waste collection and incineration, water supplies, etc.
In April, MSF extended into prevention work consisting mainly of disinfecting contaminated households and raising awareness of sanitary measures to prevent infection. By mid-May, the number of registered cases had risen to around 3,800. The outbreak has been almost entirely limited to Grande Comore.