West Africa Cholera Outbreak Worsens
A gathering in Conakry, Guinea invovling an outbreak of Cholera. The outbreak has occured across several West African states., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
W Africa cholera outbreak worsens
Sun Aug 19, 2012 7:34AM GMT
A cholera outbreak in West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Mali, and Niger has killed hundreds since January with no signs of letting up.
In a press conference on Saturday, Dr Sakoba Keita of the Guinean Ministry of Health’s infectious diseases department stated that the situation was alarming, adding,” A week ago, we counted 60 dead and 2,054 cases…this week we have recorded 82 dead.”
“In spite of the authorities’ and international organization’s awareness campaign at all levels, the cholera epidemic continues to rage in Guinea,” Keita said.
A high proportion of the cholera cases in Conakry are concentrated in urban slums where there are few clean toilets.
The outbreak has also hit neighboring Sierra Leone, causing 176 deaths and 10,800 reported cases since January.
Mali and Niger display the same state of affairs where high levels of malnourishment, resulting from drought, are intensifying the epidemic.
Factors, giving rise to the disease, are poor water and sanitation systems.
Cholera is an acute intestinal infection, afflicted by ingesting contaminated food and water that causes severe diarrhea and vomiting and can kill in hours, according to the World Health Organization.