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Plan is responding to a cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone

13/09/2012

Woman collecting water from a local stream in Sierra LeonePlan is stepping up its humanitarian response in Sierra Leone, due to a rapid increase of cholera cases in recent weeks.

While the cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone began in January, in recent weeks it has intensified.

3,375 children across the country have contracted the illness to date and at least 216 people have died.

President Ernest Bai Koroma has declared a national emergency.

As a member of the National Cholera Task Force, Plan is working with the government and other leading agencies to address the situation.

Emergency response

"We are working to reduce the impact of this devastating outbreak on children and their communities," says Plan's Disaster Advisor, Edward Sesay.

"Currently we are concentrating on promoting crucial hygiene messages in schools, improving sanitation, and making sure people have access to safe water."

Over the coming weeks Plan will be providing over 300,000 people with access to safe water, disinfecting school latrines and community wells, and raising awareness of good hygiene and sanitation.

We will be also be providing 10,000 children under five, pregnant women and new mothers with nutritious meals, as well as distributing medical supplies to Cholera treatment units and other healthcare facilities.

"Besides death and illness, we are also dealing with the serious socio-economic and emotional impacts of the disease," explains Edward Sesay.

"People are facing dramatic dips in household income, children are being withdrawn from school, and families are struggling to cope with the trauma."

Plan will be providing 'emotional first aid' and running peer support sessions to help children and families deal with the impacts of the outbreak.

Find out more about Plan's work in Sierra Leone.


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