Cholera puts children's lives at risk in Sahel

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Villagers going about their daily lives: bathing, doing laundry, fetching water, playing in the Niger River. Credit: OCHA Niger/Franck Kuwonu

A cholera outbreak in the Sahel region of Africa is putting many people, especially children, at severe risk, according to the United Nations children's agency (UNICEF).

The agency warns that next week is expected to see the peak of admissions of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition into treatment centres across the Sahel.

It says that in Niger, the worst affected country, the situation will be exacerbated by a harvest which has been threatened by the arrival of locusts in the northern part of the country.

UNICEF spokesperson Patrick McCormick says that thousands of children in Niger are affected.

"As of 8 July, in Niger approximately 161,000 under-five children are affected by severe acute malnutrition and many are affected by moderate acute malnutrition and have been admitted and treated in over 2,000 feeding centres across the country. There is a daily average of 1,000 new cases of severe acute malnutrition since mid-April this year."

Duration: 26"

Meanwhile, the United Nations humanitarian agency (OCHA) says that only just over half of the $1.6 billion appeal for Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad, Mauritania and Niger has been funded.

Filed under Today's News.
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