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Cholera outbreak in Côte d’Ivoire

35 confirmed cases with seven deaths

ABIDJAN, Côte d’Ivoire, 27 January 2011 – Cholera has broken out in the Abidjan neighborhood of Adjamé, claiming seven deaths, according to local health authorities. “So far there are 35 confirmed cases with seven deaths, a fatality rate of 20 percent, which is unacceptably high,” said Sylvie Dossou, head of UNICEF in Côte d’Ivoire.

"UNICEF is working with its partners, including the World Health Organization (WHO), to respond. We’ve committed to providing 250,000 bars of soap, five cholera treatment kits, and 3,000 public awareness posters urging everyone to wash their hands with soap at critical times of the day and promoting safe hygiene practices. Cholera is completely preventable, but we must move quickly to avoid the worst."

Cholera, an acute diarrheal infection, is an extremely virulent disease. It affects both children and adults and can kill within hours, according to WHO. However, it is also an easily treatable disease.

Up to 80 percent of cholera patients can be treated successfully through prompt administration of oral rehydration salts (ORS, which cost less than US$ 0.10 per treatment).

Severely dehydrated patients require administration of intravenous fluids.

"The five cholera kits have enough drugs and supplies to treat 1,000 patients," said Dr. Eli Ramamonjisoa, UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire’s top health specialist.

"Each kit provides 800 water purification tablets, 300 ORS sachets, antibiotics, examination gloves, intravenous needles, and 10 large bars of soap. Twenty thousand water purification tablets and 10,000 additional posters are on order."

For more information, please contact:
Martin Dawes, UNICEF Regional Office -West and Central Africa, tel. +221 33 869 58 58, email :; Louis Vigneault, UNICEF Côte d’Ivoire, Tel +225 04 03 50 44, email:



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