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[Africa bulletin] Sierra Leone and the Cholera Outbreak

by | 29-08-2012 20:31 Comments 5 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations



Sierra Leone has been faced with frequent cholera outbreaks in rural and urban areas until recently in June when the government through the Ministry of Health and Sanitation officially declared the disease. The outbreak since January 2012 had been unprecedented affecting all the fourteen districts of the country, with higher number of cases reported.  

In February, 2012, WASH-Net Sierra Leone officials visited Yeliboya – Kambia, Port Loko and Pujehun, to monitor and ascertain the level of the initial outbreak and the Sanitation Condition of these communities. WASH-Net Sierra Leone also recently launched an aggressive community animation and awareness raising campaign in the Western area on the outbreak of the disease, and have also organized series of radio discussion and issued out press release calling on government to step-up on delivering with timeliness.

It is common that the highest Case Fatality Rate (CFR) in a cholera outbreak occurs during the first days of the outbreak and in communities where awareness on cholera and early treatment (ORS) is low but this is extremely getting worse by the current trend for especially in the provinces. Women are also reported to be the highest number of people affected by Cholera but answers are yet to be discovered.

The recent cholera outbreak in the Freetown and some parts of the country had claimed several precious lives[i]  and this has caused  serious concern to the public even as the situation still threatens despite effort by the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and other partners. WASH-Net Sierra Leone have observed that some of the factors among others that are responsible for this outbreak is the fact that there are poor sanitation and hygiene practices in especially districts that reports the highest case of fatality coupled with poor  and unsafe drinking water by the public.

With previous interventions as a Network with supports from WaterAid Sierra Leone and Liberia, WASH-Net have been following up with the trends of the spread even before it was officially declared in June.

To this end, the Network have come to realize that massive sensitization and advocacy needs to be intensified in all the affected and non affected communities to combat the outbreak from spreading to other communities as quickly as possible.

Cholera outbreak response generally focuses on medical aspects that are important for lowering mortality. However, a more comprehensive response is needed to limit the spread of the disease. As the outbreak response is often led by medical professionals, other aspects of intervention, such as environmental or communication education issues tend to be neglected.



[i]  163 reported death nationwide as of 12th August 2012 Cholera Updates from WHO/UNICEF 

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5 Comments

  • says :
    I hope the Cholera is under control now.
    Posted 11-01-2014 11:32

  • says :
    very much concerning
    Posted 29-12-2013 19:54

  • says :
    really time to think
    Posted 28-12-2013 00:57

  • says :
    people need to seriously think about this
    Posted 22-12-2013 21:26

  • says :
    it's serious issue.
    Posted 22-07-2013 21:59

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