Through educational programs on proper sanitation and the construction of latrines, villages in which OVP operates continue to be free from cholera.
Sierra Leone, along with much of Western Africa, is in the midst of the worst cholera epidemic to afflict the area in fifteen years. Existing health risks such as unsafe water sources and poor sanitation are believed to have triggered the initial outbreak which, according to the World Health Organization, has infected more than 11,000 individuals and resulted in over 200 deaths since the beginning of 2012. The epidemic is expected to become worse throughout the rainy season due to widespread flooding and heavy rainfall.
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that can lead to rapid dehydration and death if treatment is not administered promptly. It is caused by the consumption of food or water contaminated with fecal matter of an infected individual. The true tragedy however, is that cholera outbreaks can be prevented by ensuring that a community has access to clean drinking water and is properly able to dispose of waste in latrines.
Thanks to your support, the villages in which OVP operates have managed to remain healthy due to an emphasis on proper sanitation. Nearly 275 latrines have been built across three communities. Those latrines, in addition to local campaigns educating villagers about proper hygiene, have drastically reduced the likelihood of clean water supplies becoming tainted. In fact, there have been no reported cases of cholera in those communities.
Please, take a moment to consider the plight of those Sierra Leoneans who are suffering with a preventable illness, and then take another moment to realize how your contributions have had a direct impact on improving lives. We thank you for your continued support of OVP’s programs.