Thousands affected by cholera epidemics in West and Central Africa

A man digs a latrine for his family in Cote d'Ivoire © UNICEF Cote d'Ivoire

The United Nations Children's Agency (UNICEF) says that it's dealing with one of the worst ever outbreaks of cholera in the West and Central African region, with children being particularly vulnerable to the disease.

So far this year, more than 85,000 cases have been reported amongst all age groups and 2,466 people have died.

Cholera particularly affects the poor because of their lack of access to clean water and basic sanitation, which is an enormous problem in West and Central Africa.

Marixie Mercado, UNICEF spokesperson, says the agency is providing treatment kits and running community awareness campaigns on hygiene, but needs authorities to help.

"Where cholera is spreading quickly along major waterways between and within countries, there are concrete steps that can be taken to limit the spread of the disease. UNICEF is calling on governments to work more closely together on coordinating preparation and response, not only within their borders but with each other."Duration:  18″

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