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Cholera epidemic in Sierra Leone

Hand washing in Sierra Leone

Hand washing and clean water can save lives

24 August 2012

Christian Aid partners are escalating their community health work in Sierra Leone as part of their emergency response to a cholera epidemic, which has already claimed more than 200 lives.

Our programmes will reach more than 270,000 people with activities and services designed to halt the spread of the illness.

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Health education

'It is absolutely vital that we get messages about regular hand washing and clean drinking water out there to as many people as we can, as soon as possible.'

Our health education work will include promoting good hygiene practices through radio programmes, as well as awareness-raising sessions delivered in person.

Partners are also providing sanitation support including supplying soap to communities and installing hand-washing stations in areas particularly vulnerable to the spread of the illness.

More than 11,000 cases of cholera have now been registered in 10 of Sierra Leone's 13 districts, prompting President Ernest Bai Koroma to describe the situation as a humanitarian crisis.

Overcrowded slums

Jeanne Kamara, Christian Aid's Sierra Leone country manager, said: 'This endemic can spread really fast as many poor people live in damp and overcrowded slums with poor sanitation facilities.

'It is absolutely vital that we get messages about regular hand-washing and clean drinking water out there to as many people as we can, as soon as possible.'

 

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