- Guinea-Bissau has lost control over the cholera outbreak, which has reached alarming proportions, health ministry officials admitted.
Of the total 2,200 cholera cases registered in the country since May this year, health experts confirmed the death of 53 people. The capital Bissau alone has registered 1,635 cases and 15 deaths.
Agostinho Pedro Semedo, director of Bissau's central hospital said strong rains have facilitated the rapid spread of the disease.
The government became so threatened that it resorted to issuing a statement, soliciting the "immediate intervention" of the international community to help combat the epidemic "before it is too late."
Cholera outbreak has hit Bissau, South and West regions at a time the country's main referral hospitals report acute shortage of drugs. Due to the destruction of the rains to the roads and bridges, most health facilities cannot be accessed.
The country's looming political and economic crises have also taken great tolls on its health services.
As part of the government's efforts to control the spread of the epidemic, a temporary ban has been placed on social gatherings.
Guinea-Bissau has secured US $600,000 from United Nations to fight cholera epidemic. The UNICEF representative in Bissau, Silvia Luciani, said the "situation is grave" and called for urgent and critical engagement of all parties.
Luciani also urged agencies to step up efforts to ensure that all emergency funds and supplies are made available and utilised effectively to save human lives.
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