04 September 2012, Dhaka. On Thursday, 16 August, the government of Sierra Leone declared the cholera outbreak a national humanitarian emergency. A presidential taskforce was established shortly after the declaration. As of 24 September, Sierra Leone has recorded over 14,000 cases and 240 deaths in 10 out of 13 districts.
BRAC has taken up various measures to ensure full assistance to the affected and distraught in Sierra Leone. In collaboration with the country's district health management teams (DHMT), we are providing the necessary support to disseminate cholera prevention messages through our network of 660 community health promoters (CHP) and 33 programme assistants in the Western area, Port Loko, Bombali, Tonkolili, Bo, Kenema, and Kono districts.
We are providing approximately SLL 43 million (USD 10,000) as cash grant for immediate emergency support and mobilising our human resources to provide the DHMTs with the following services:
- Promoting and distributing oral rehydration solution (ORS) aqua tabs and disinfectants through the CHPs
- Arranging regular health meetings in communities to influence behavioural change
- Providing refreshers training on cholera preparedness to the CHPs who are assisting to disseminate cholera prevention messages
- Providing DHMTs with necessary tools and supplies such as, IV ringers lactate, ORS, Doxacycline capsules, zinc and disinfectants
The DHMTs have requested for further assistance from BRAC in raising community awareness in distant chiefdoms to ensure a greater coverage.
"In this critical time, we remain committed to doing our best to help the government of Sierra Leone contain the epidemic by mobilising both human and additional financial resources, and using our knowledge in dealing with communicable diseases through a community-based approach," said Faruque Ahmed, Senior Director of BRAC International.
BRAC started its operation in Sierra Leone in 2008, and has reached over 700,000 Sierra Leoneans with activities in microfinance, agriculture, livestock, poultry, health and legal services. We are a global leader in creating large-scale opportunities for the poor, touching the lives of an estimated 126 million people – a global movement bringing change to 10 countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean.
Help us address the humanitarian emergency in Sierra Leone by making a donation at http://www.brac.net/donations/view