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26.08.2005 Health

Cholera cases go up in West Africa


Accra, Aug.26, GNA - The alarming scope and size of the outbreak of cholera in the West Africa Sub-region has prompted the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs to hold a regional meeting in Dakar, Senegal early next week to arrest the spread of the epidemic.

A statement UN information Centre issued in Accra on Friday said the meeting, would assess the scope of the outbreak and response to date and agree on priority actions to enhance future responses. It said 24,621 cholera cases have been recorded this year in the sub region with 401 deaths.

The hardest country hit by the epidemic was Guinea-Bissau, where both the number of affected persons and deaths nearly doubled in the last two weeks.

The other countries are; Burkina Faso, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal.

The statement said cholera is an acute intestinal infection cause by consuming contaminated food or water. It can quickly cause severe dehydration leading to death, although a simple mix of water, sugar and salt is enough to save many lives.