Sahel facing deadly cholera outbreak

2012-07-10 19:25
Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dakar - The conflict in Mali could turn a cholera outbreak that has already killed 60 people in the Sahel this year into a serious regional epidemic, the UN children's agency said on Tuesday.

While the semi-arid belt running across Africa, separating Sahara from savannah, is regularly hit by cholera outbreaks, this year's epidemic has concentrated mostly around Mali and Niger, Unicef said in a statement.

This has been aggravated by the massive displacement of people fleeing conflict in northern Mali, and further endangers children already suffering acute malnutrition.

"Malnutrition, displacement, and now rains in some parts of the Sahel create the ideal breeding ground for cholera, which hits young children hardest," said Manuel Fontaine, Unicef acting regional director for West and Central Africa.

Last week, an outbreak in northern Mali left two children dead and 34 other people sick, according to Mali's Ministry of Health.

Since March northern Mali has been occupied by armed groups dominated by Islamists who have enforced sharia law and destroyed ancient cultural treasures.

The Unicef statement said that overall in 2012, some 700 people in West and Central Africa had died from cholera and more than 29 000 cases were reported.

Cases had shot up in the Sahel since mid-June, especially near the Niger River where that country's health ministry reported nearly three times as many cholera patients compared to the same period last year.

In Niger about 400 000 children are expected to require life-saving treatment for severe malnutrition this year.

Crops failed across a massive swathe of eight countries after late and erratic rains in 2011, leaving some 23 million people across the Sahel facing hunger, aid agencies have reported.

However funding needs have not been met.

"You can't treat malnutrition and ignore cholera," said Fontaine. "But without more funding soon, we risk undoing a lot of work already done to treat and prevent malnutrition in children."

Read more on:    unicef  |  mali  |  west africa  |  sahel
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is easy to get bogged down by things today. The Taurus Moon highlights the comforts and pleasures of life. You may have the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.