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Over 1,000 dead from Cholera Outbreak in Angola

UNICEF responds with supplies and messages critical to prevent the spread of this disease

LUANDA, May 5 2006 – Over the past three months, a deadly cholera outbreak in Angola has sickened over 26,000 people and killed 1,085, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).  Working with partners, UNICEF has responded with supplies for both the treatment and prevention of cholera, as well as educating families about how to prevent cholera and what to do if someone falls ill. 

While these and other efforts are contributing to fewer deaths, the number is rising and UNICEF said today it is critical to maintain a pipeline of urgent life-saving supplies.  Steady rains are directly contributing to an exacerbation of the situation and the increase in case numbers and it is likely to continue for several months more.

UNICEF was able to draw on stocks in place in February to permit an immediate response, but further funding is needed.  Acknowledging that additional funds may be necessary if the outbreak continues, UNICEF is currently requesting US $1 million from donors to continue to respond effectively for another three months.

As part of its response to the outbreak, UNCEF is active in a number of activities, including expanding access to safe water supply though chlorination (tablets, solution), through provision of water carriers at household level, through installation of standpipes and water tanks for safe storage. 

A major long term investment is needed to improve water supplies in Angola to possibly prevent another cholera outbreak, particularly in the overcrowded urban slums where conditions are appalling.  However in the immediate term, UNICEF is active responding to the crisis and efforts are ongoing to strengthen coordination of the overall effort which is being led by the government. 

For more information, please contact:

Akhil Iyer, UNICEF Luanda, Angola, Telephone: 244-222-333798, akiyer@unicef.org




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