Sierra Leone: Cholera Ebbing in Sierra Leone

Photo: Anna Jefferys/IRIN
A mother washes her child in Kroo Bay slum in Freetown, where access to basic sanitation is severely limited and cholera outbreaks are regular occurrences.

Freetown — Sierra Leone's worst cholera outbreak in 15 years has eased in the past two months and new infections each week have recently dipped to below 1,000.

Some 841 new cases were reported in the first week of October. The figure fell to 433 the following week, according to data from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization. Although the decline began in late August, reported cases were still above 1,000 per week at that time.

Since February when the outbreak started, 21,815 people have been infected and 292 others killed. Heavy rains in August accelerated the spread of the disease, which infected people in 12 of Sierra Leone's 13 districts.

Moira Fratta, UNICEF's emergency specialist in Sierra Leone, told IRIN the outbreak is expected to last for some weeks to come.

"We are starting to think of how to work for preparedness for next year. We hope that it will not happen, but there could be an outbreak."

Improving the quality and availability of water, hygiene and health care are important if cholera is to be eradicated in Sierra Leone, a country emerging from the devastation of the 1991-2002 civil war.

[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2012 UN Integrated Regional Information Networks. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.

InFocus

Sierra Leone Braces for Cholera Season

A mother washes her child in Kroo Bay slum in Freetown, where access to basic sanitation is severely limited and cholera outbreaks are regular occurrences.

The government and international organizations have put in place measures to ensure that medical centers across the country are provided with saline drips and other medical kits ... Read more »