UK launches anti-cholera campaign
Saturday 25 August 2012
The UK government has activated a £2 million emergency plan to help tackle a cholera epidemic sweeping through Sierra Leone.
The Department for International Development (DfID) says it is using a network that includes private businesses and specialist aid organisations to deliver emergency medical, water and sanitation assistance to affected people in the west African state.
So far around 200 people have died and more than 12,000 have been infected by the water-borne disease, which causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea and can kill within hours if left untreated.
It is the first time the UK has used the network, called the Rapid Response Facility, since it was established in March.
Save the Children, International Rescue Committee, Oxfam, Concern, Care International and the British Red Cross have been mobilised as part of the emergency response.
The DfID plans to help provide clean water and sanitation to nearly two million people as well as direct treatment for to up to 4,500 people affected by the disease.
Anti-cholera drugs and water purification kits will also be shipped to Sierra Leone.
DfID Secretary Andrew Mitchell said: "The cholera epidemic in Sierra Leone is fast becoming a crisis, with millions potentially at risk.
"The UK is - for the first time - activating the Rapid Response Facility, its network of private sector and aid experts to make sure we get aid to where it is needed, fast.
"Not only will our response be rapid, it will be efficient.
"We will monitor closely to make sure every penny of British aid achieves results and supports those in dire need.
"Urgent action is required to halt the spread of disease and save lives - Britain is leading the way."
The department's private sector partners will supply the majority of the aid organisations' relief supplies and logistics in the coming days.
Cholera has spread quickly across West Africa, getting significantly worse in the last few weeks, with almost half those infected in Sierra Leone - the worst epidemic in the country for two decades.
The outbreak has been most severe in the capital, Freetown, which has a dangerous mix of poor sanitation, high population density and limited health services.
- 1 British tourists 'murdered' in Thailand: Pair's bloodied bodies found naked on Koh Tao beach
- 2 Vivienne Westwood says 'Yes' to Scottish Independence by declaring: 'I hate England'
- 3 Welcome to Cameroon, where drinking Baileys can lead to imprisonment
- 4 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 5 Vogue under fire for 'Big Booty' article
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly
Salmond accused of laughing off national debt with ‘what are they going to do: invade?’ joke
£400000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Energy Markets An...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Plus excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions...
£22000 - £23000 per annum: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recrui...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: We are currently r...