Red Cross responds to cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone
There has been a spike in reported cases since mid-July and the onset of the rainy season. Over the past five weeks, six thousand cases alone have been confirmed and there are fears that many others have not been officially reported.
The Canadian Red Cross has deployed one community health worker, David Allison, a regional health officer from Newfoundland, to support the Sierra Leone Red Cross who is responding on the ground with the help of 400 community based volunteers.
“With expertise in public health in Canada, and through international health assignments, I’ve built up the capacity and skills to help people in public health emergencies like this one,” says Allison. “I’m keen to use my skills in needs assessment, health promotion, and community education through the Red Cross on the ground in Sierra Leone.”
The Canadian Red Cross is able to support communities in Sierra Leone thanks to the First Responder Initiative Program, a three-year program in partnership with the Government of Canada. The program will run until 2013 and it is made up of three components that focus on preparation for deployment, having Emergency Response Unit’s available, and strengthening our ability to manage disaster.
Click here to learn more about the First Responder Initiative Program.
Note to media: B-Roll footage is available.