Cholera in Freetown Sierra Leone

“With the end of the rainy season, Sierra Leone’s worst outbreak of cholera in nearly 15 years has finally begun to recede. The crisis has focused attention on the dire living conditions in the slum areas of Freetown, where the disease hit hardest.”

“Though water wells have been installed in Kroo Bay, these are not immune from contamination. Unicef estimates that up to 42% of Sierra Leoneans do not have access to clean drinking water.”

“Pigs wander unchecked along the stream, foraging for food in its rubbish-filled waters. Just a few metres downstream, children play and swim, while others urinate along the banks.”

“Sanitary conditions in the slum are extremely poor, with few clean toilets. Many people simply defecate in the open, often near the banks of the stream that flows through Kroo Bay.”

“In such conditions, cholera spreads rapidly through the slums. Though it is easily treatable if addressed early, it is frequently fatal in Sierra Leone, where health facilities are not easily accessible, and awareness of the disease is low.”

“In August President Koroma announced a national emergency as cholera deaths increased sharply with the intensification of the rainy season. The disease has so far killed over 280 people this year.”

The text is cited from BBC News In Pictures, click here to view the article.

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