Sierra Leone (MNN) — Cholera has hit an all-time high. The World Health Organization has reported 18,919 cases of cholera. In those cases, there have been 273 confirmed deaths.
This is the largest outbreak in Sierra Leone since 1970 and 1971. The Red Cross has been heavily involved in the cases. In late August, cholera reached 2,100 cases in a week. Over 2.5 million dollars has been used to help contain the spread of this disease.
Amanda McCelland who has been working with The Red Cross said, "We are seeing a number of mild cases treated by the volunteers at the community level, and we continue to see that spread slowly but surely toward the south and southwest down toward the Liberian border."
The number of cases has declined recently in the Port Loco area: only 13 cases last week. Although the numbers are decreasing, the staff at Living Water International are seeing the crisis up close. A number of the staff and their families have fallen ill with cholera and typhoid. One of those falling ill is four-year-old Mariatu.
Living Water has already been able to shock-chlorinate wells, initiate 20 well rehabilitations–10 are in the finishing stages, and facilitate hygiene training for 91 schools. All of this was made possible through donations.
The outbreak in Sierra Leone and elsewhere in West Africa is related to poor sanitation and little fresh water. Once the rainy season ends, the team expects a rise in cholera cases.
Pray for the continued well rehabilitation. Ask God to be with those who are ill. Also pray for the safety and efficacy of the teams.