See also:
» 04.03.2010 - Security reforms crucial for Guinea-Bissau, UN report
» 26.01.2010 - UN anti-crime agency help set up police academy in Guinea-Bissau
» 24.10.2008 - EU respond to Guinea-Bissau's cholera epidemic
» 19.09.2008 - Bissau cholera outbreak kills 122
» 21.08.2008 - Bissau cholera out of control
» 18.08.2008 - UN fund Guinea Bissau to fight cholera epidemic
» 20.06.2006 - As rains fall, cholera threat returns
» 09.09.2005 - Cholera causes concern among Guinea-Bissau's neighbours

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Society | Health

Bissau death toll escalates

afrol News, 1 October - Guinea Bissau's cholera epidemic has to date claimed over 140 with nearly 7, 800 having been infected since May, hospital officials said on Tuesday.

Officials said a total of 141 deaths and 7,777 cases have been registered since an outbreak began in May.

A doctor at Simao Mendes hospital, biggest hospital in the country, coordinating national anti-cholera programme said hospital has 136 cholera patients, including 30 children under age of five, being cared for in hospital.

"Between Monday and Tuesday we received 30 patients. We are really snowed under and the patients keep coming," he said.

Cholera can be transmitted through contaminated water being drunk or used to prepare food. It begins with acute diarrhea and can kill by dehydration and kidney failure within hours.

Experts say number of people infected with cholera could be much higher than cases officially reported.

Local media reports have indicated that some of infected people hide from health officials in Bandim neighbourhood of Bissau, which has been heavily affected by the epidemic.

Heavy rains, lack of basic sanitation and population's stubbornness in not following authorities instructions have provoked a considerable increase in number of cases of cholera, local reports said.

In 2005 a cholera epidemic in Guinea-Bissau killed 400 people and infected over 4,000 people.

United States embassy in Dakar announced Tuesday that it will give 100,000 dollars (71,000 euros) to UN's children's fund UNICEF to help combat cholera in schools.

US embassy cited figures from Guinea-Bissau health ministry which show that 900 new infections occur every week and mortality rate is at 12.4 percent.

Guinea-Bissau has secured US $600,000 from United Nations to fight cholera epidemic. UNICEF representative in Bissau, Silvia Luciani, said the "situation is grave" and called for urgent and critical engagement of all parties.

In Bissau, one the world poorest nations, majority of people lack clean water supply.

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