Unicef warns of west Africa cholera threat
Dakar - The United Nations Children's Fund on Tuesday appealed to western African governments to prevent a new cholera outbreak, after the disease claimed nearly 3 000 lives there last year.
Unicef's regional bureau said that "at least 105 248 cases of cholera were registered in 17 countries in 2011, and 2 898 people died" in what was one of the most severe outbreaks of the disease in years.
"The region is now in the inter-season which means that the number of cases is close to zero in most affected countries," it said.
But the UN agency warned that governments should be prepared "to minimise risks for the next season which, in West and Central Africa, is projected to start in April 2012".
It said it was particularly concerned the disease could hit the Sahel zone, where many people are already weakened by a nutrition crisis.