Africa Asia Middle East Français Português Subscribe IRIN Site Map
Global HIV/AIDS news and analysis
Advanced search
 Thursday 04 October 2007
Weekly reports 
In-Depth reports 
Country profiles 
Fact files 
Really Simple Syndication Feeds 
About PlusNews 
Contact PlusNews 
Print report
SIERRA LEONE: Cholera deaths surge

Photo: Zoe Eisenstein/IRIN
A cholera treatment centre
FREETOWN, 3 October 2007 (IRIN) - A deadly cholera epidemic has broken out in several regions of Sierra Leone.

Since the first week of September at least 523 people have been infected in Kambia district in northern Sierra Leone close to the border with Guinea, and in the eastern town of Kenema, and Newton on the outskirts of the capital Freetown, according to the Ministry of Health.

Cholera can be easily treated with a course of dehydration and local government authorities have been using FM radio to appeal to people to report cases of diarrhoea and vomiting to the nearest health centre.

“We have the personnel and enough drugs to quickly and professionally intervene,” The Kambia District medical officer Joseph Kandeh told IRIN.

Nonetheless, 30 people died from the disease in September, the Ministry said.

The district medical officer for Kenema, Yankuba Bah, said that people are reluctant to seek treatment when they get sick as they do not have confidence in public hospitals. “Most patients only visit government hospitals when they are in a precarious condition,” he said.

Bah also said that most of the people infected are women. They are more exposed to the disease, he said, because they fetch water from streams and work in crowded markets.

Cholera and other waterborne diseases occur each year during the rainy season as heavy rains lead to the contamination of streams and wells from uncollected garbage and effluent. Last year, 2,560 cholera cases were recorded in Sierra Leone during the rainy season between August and October, with 77 deaths.

Less than 50 percent of people outside Freetown have access to clean water and toilets, according to the UN, and most depend on streams and rainfall for their drinking water.


Theme(s): (IRIN) Aid Policy, (IRIN) Health & Nutrition


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Print report
FREE Subscriptions
Your e-mail address:

Submit your request
 More on Sierra Leone
SIERRA LEONE: Salimatu Thoronka, “I have given birth to four children since losing my legs”
WEST AFRICA: Flood damage pushes back school term for millions
WEST AFRICA: IRIN-WA Weekly Round-up 394 for 15 - 21 September 2007
SIERRA LEONE: Why don’t people farm the land?
SIERRA LEONE: Ruling party loses vote, opposition leader made president
 More on Health & Nutrition
UGANDA: New Marburg fever case confirmed
DRC: Monitoring of Ebola "must continue"
NIGERIA: Polio vaccine back in the headlines
YEMEN-HORN OF AFRICA: Worries over increasing African exodus to Yemen
SOMALIA: Living in fear of more floods
Back | Home page

Services:  Africa | Asia | Middle East | Radio | Film & TV | Photo | E-mail subscription
Feedback · E-mail Webmaster · IRIN Terms & Conditions · Really Simple Syndication News Feeds · About PlusNews · Bookmark PlusNews · Donors

Copyright © IRIN 2007
This material comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its Member States. Republication is subject to terms and conditions as set out in the IRIN copyright page.