AFRICA/SIERRA LEONE - Alarm and concern about an uncontrollable cholera epidemic
Freetown (Agenzia Fides) - Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone, is now the center of a cholera epidemic, after the first confirmed case was found in the north of the country in February. On 18 July, the first reported case was from Marbella, a slum near the center of the city, where a large number of people meet continuously in the market that is open 24 hours a day.
According to the local Ministry of Health Care, every day there are 40 new cases in the area. In Freetown and in the neighboring western area, 410 cases and 9 deaths have been reported. The mortality rate is 2% and it is quite worrying, this is the worst recorded outbreak in the country after that of 2007.
The aim of the Ministry now is to contain the disease and clean up the environment. Since January exactly 4.249 cases and 76 deaths from cholera have been recorded in Sierra Leone. Out of a population of 6 million, 4,000 cases are a huge sum. Experts fear that the peak of the pandemic has not yet been reached. The government in the capital has created three emergency centers to handle new cases and all the clinics are providing free treatment for cholera. However in Marbella, a high population density area, due to impassable roads and crowding of the market, the inhabitants have no access to sanitation and housing are all very close to each other. This situation is aggravated by precarious hygiene, lack of clean water and poor management of food in the market area, which are all risk factors for the proliferation of the epidemic. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 30/07/2012)
- 2015-07-22 - Ebola: people want to go back to normality, but we must not let our guard down
- 2015-07-08 - Archbishop of Freetown: "people are making efforts to protect themselves against Ebola"
- 2015-06-18 - Schools closed for ebola: child abuse, teenage pregnancy, prostitution are on the rise
- 2015-04-15 - The Bishops: "We must be steadfast in the efforts to eradicate the Ebola virus disease and defend our democracy"
- 2015-03-09 - Care centers for children who have been in contact with family members infected by Ebola
- 2015-03-03 - Investigation into the embezzlement of funds allocated in the fight against Ebola virus
- 2015-01-31 - Entire populations deprived of basic health services: commitment to the re-opening of the hospital in Lunsar
- 2015-01-19 - Emergency Ebola: light at the end of the tunnel
- 2014-12-30 - Stigma and discrimination, Ebola also jeopardizes religious practices
- 2014-12-18 - Ebola: appeal of the Hospital in Serabu; for FAO a million people at risk of hunger