UNICEF and partners fight deadly, but preventable, cholera outbreak in Cameroon

Cameroon is currently experiencing one of its most severe outbreaks of cholera in decades. The epidemic began in May 2010, following the country’s rainy season, and is most prevalent in the country’s Extreme North province. To date, there are some 5,560 reported cases of cholera and 385 deaths, according to the Government of Cameroon.

Cholera is caused by consuming contaminated water and food and often spreads as a result of poor sanitation and hygiene. According to UNICEF Cameroon, only 5 per cent of people in the Extreme North have access to latrines and less than 30 per cent have access to safe drinking water.

It is this combination of factors, along with flooding and high population density, that have led to the current outbreak.

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