Guinea – Evading the Cholera Epidemic

December 12, 2011

With just two cholera cases reported in 2011, Guinea escaped a West and Central Africa-wide cholera epidemic that infected 85,000 people and killed 2,500 in the first ten months of 2011. Luck, as well as targeted prevention efforts on the part of aid agencies and the government, brought this about, specialists told IRIN, but a far deeper overhaul of the water and sanitation system in needed country-wide to diminish the likelihood of such disease outbreaks in the long term.

A cholera emergency contingency team made up of representatives from the Ministry of Health, the International Committee of the Red Cross, administrators from the principal hospital, Donka, NGOs such as Action Contre la Faim and UN agencies, including UNICEF, now meets regularly to discuss early warning and response.