Cholera outbreaks began around the same time at the beginning of 2012 in Sierra Leone and Guinea.
Since the beginning of the year, Sierra Leone has recorded 13,934 cases of cholera, with 232 deaths. The rate of new cases has accelerated rapidly since the beginning of August. The President of Sierra Leone has declared the escalating cholera epidemic a “humanitarian crisis”. Consequently, a high-level Presidential Cholera Task Force has been established to oversee coordination, mobilize resources and guide response. By 30 Aug, the numbers had risen to 13,934 reported cases and 232 deaths (WHO, 30 Aug 2012).
As of 16 September, the Guinea Ministry of Health had confirmed 6,599 cases, with 121 deaths. By that date, the epidemic had eased, with both countries reporting decreasing number of new cases for three weeks in a row (OCHA, 17 Sep 2012).
The outbreak in Sierra Leone had declined from a high of more than 2,000 cases per week at the peak of the outbreak in August, down to 16 cases at the beginning of 2013. Although this is a significant decline, cases are still being reported in four districts, requiring ongoing prevention and control efforts to ensure the outbreak does not spread further. (IFRC, 15 Feb 2013)