São Tomé health ministry asks UNICEF staff to help out with cholera epidemic

2 December 2005

Facing an unprecedented cholera epidemic, the government of the small African country of São Tomé and Príncipe has asked for United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) staff members to work in its hospitals.

"The Government was very concerned by the situation, which could become significantly worse," UNICEF spokesman Damien Personnaz told a news briefing in Geneva today.

As of today 715 cases have been reported, 17 of them fatal. Two weeks ago there were only 320 cases, and nine deaths. All the cases have been on the main island of São Tomé, 30 per cent of them children under 14.

The total population of the islands State in the Gulf of Guinea is some 180,000.


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