Cholera Platform

Against cholera

WHO Cholera country profile

Sierra Leone Cholera profil

Cholera Background History:

In 2006, the outbreak in Sierra Leone started on 20 August 2006 in Freetown (Western area). It quickly spread to the rural Western area and four other districts (Kambia, Tonkolili, Port Loko and Kailahun). The peak of the outbreak was reached at the end of September 2006 with a daily incidence of 367 cases (see epicurve). As of October 2006, the total number of cases reported was 2'560 including 99 deaths with an overall case fatality rate of 3.8%.

In 2007, Sierra Leone reported 2'219 including 84 deaths (CFR of 3.79%) affecting 11 out of 13 districts. In 2008, Sierra Leone reported 62 cases, including 1 death (CFR 1.6%)

  • Cholera outbreak in 2012

Since January 2012, and as of 25 December 2012, Sierra Leone has reported 22 885 cases with 298 deaths (CFR=1.30) in 12 out of 13 districts: Bo, Bombali, Bonthe, Kambia, Kenema, Kono, Koinadugu, Moyamba, Port Loko and Pujehun and Tonkolili and Western Area. The capital Freetown started to report cases since 1 August. Western Area accounted for the majority of the cases (11805 cases, 52% of all cases) and Koinadugu was last the district to be affected. (see epicurve and map). This outbreak was linked to the outbreak in Guinea which started in February 2012 in the Forécariah prefecture.

Between 1994 and 1995, close to 20 000 cases including 1000 deaths were reported.

In 2004, between 2 and 29 of August, an outbreak affecting 513 people, incl. 42 deaths (CFR 8.2%) occurred in the districts of Western Area, Port Loko and Kambia located towards the border with Guinea.

Outbreaks in Sierra Leone often occur during the rainy season (from May to October) and are related to heavy rains which cause flooding and contamination of water sources.

Sierra Leone first reported cholera cases in 1970 and 1971 when the current pandemic hit the African continent. The number of cases were respectively 293 and 211 but the case fatality rates (CFR) remained high: 25% and 6%. The next outbreak occurred in 1986, with Sierra Leone reporting 8 957 cases, including 669 deaths (CFR 7.4%). During the period 1988 until 1993, no cases were reported.