Humanitarian crisis declared in Sierra Leone as cholera spreads

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Villagers in Kenema, Sierra Leone

A cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone has claimed over 203 lives, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

So far, 11,189 cases have been documented, with 10 out of the country's 13 districts reporting cases.

WHO says although cholera is endemic in the country, the escalation of the outbreak during the ongoing rainy season was an indication more effort was needed to scale up response measures including the provision of clean water and sanitation services.

Glenn Thomas is the spokesperson for the World Health Organization.

"The President of Sierra Leone has declared the escalating cholera outbreak a humanitarian crisis. Consequently, a multi-sectoral approach to the response has been adopted involving the Ministry of Health and Sanitation as well as other line ministries such as the Finance Ministry, Local Government partners and stakeholders. WHO is supporting Sierra Leone in areas of epidemiology, social mobilization and surveillance. WHO Africa region has deployed two epidemiologists and three cholera experts from Zimbabwe to support coordination, public information, social mobilization, case management and infection control."

Duration: 36″

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