Humanitarian Health Action

Sierra Leone

Cholera in Sierra Leone: the case study of an outbreak

Sierra Leone is in the midst of its worst cholera outbreak in 15 years. As of 19 September, there were more than 19 000 cases reported and 274 deaths. WHO and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation have established a cholera control and command centre to coordinate the response to what has turned into a national emergency.

Scaling up surveillance, case management and coordination

September 2012--Since mid-July, the number of cases of cholera in Sierra Leone have greatly increased (to over 250 per day in August) and the epidemic has rapidly spread to twelve out of the thirteen districts in the country. As of 10 September a total of 17 319 cases with 259 deaths have been reported with a case fatality rate of 1.5%. UN and partner agencies have scaled-up their response to the outbreak. However, there is a gap of US$ 1.2 million for the health sector to sustain the implementation of key cholera response interventions.

Cholera situation in the WHO African Region

22 August 2012 -- A total of 55 185 cases and 1187 deaths have been reported in 2012 from 21 countries. The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Niger, Sierra Leone and Uganda accounted for 92% of the cases and 88% of the deaths. WHO and other partners continue to provide guidance and technical support to the affected countries in the areas of multi-sectoral coordination; surveillance; case management; infection prevention and control; logistics; community awareness; cross border collaboration; and resource mobilization. Experts in these different areas were deployed in the field to support the investigation and response to cholera outbreaks.