Cholera epidemics strike West Africa with alarming regularity. Since its creation, AFG has been responding to emergency situations, saving lives and providing preventative measures to avert the spread of the disease

Cholera Epidemic Prevention and Emergency Response

What is Cholera?

Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine. An estimated 3-5 million cases and over 100,000 deaths occur each year around the world. The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe. Approximately 1 in 20 infected persons will have a severe case characterized by profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. In these people, rapid loss of body fluids leads to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours. Cholera is most likely to be found and spread in places with inadequate water treatment, poor sanitation, and insufficient hygiene. The disease can spread rapidly in areas with improper treatment of sewage and drinking water. While cholera has been very rare in industrialized nations for the last 100 years, the disease is still common today in other parts of the world, including Guinea.

AFG gets involved

Cholera ResponseIn April 2007, Guinea was struck by a cholera epidemic. There were more than 9,000 reported cases. AFG quickly provided hydration treatments and antibiotics to hospitals and medical camps, which helped save more than 6,000 people who were suffering from cholera.  As a result of its quick response, AFG also helped to keep the disease from spreading.

In addition to providing medical assistance, AFG set up a trash collection program to help eliminate the source of the disease. These efforts were only the start of programs to help Guineans live healthier lives. One of the hospitals that benefited from AFG’s assistance during the cholera epidemic is the CMC Hospital of Condeyah.

In July 2007, Mrs. Bébé Sylla, president of AFG, visited several areas in the country to conduct a need assessment. During her visits, she noticed that places hit hardest by cholera, which spreads through villages each year, lacked two important necessities for hospitals: running water and electricity. Programs to provide water wells and rechargeable batteries to hospitals started as a result of this assessment.

Since then, AFG has worked on timely responding to epidemic threats throughout Guinea. Outbreaks are a recurring threat and happen every year, especially during the rainy season.

In early 2012, fearing a spread of the unseasonable epidemic that struck most of West Africa, AFG joined forces with the Ministry of Health and other NGOs to prevent its spread in Guinea. But this action only delayed the start of the epidemic season. We need your help to stop cholera from killing more Guineans.

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  • We thank AFG for its support and hope to continue working with them to help women suffering from obstetric fistula. — Moustapha Diallo, Engender Health Program Director

  • AFG needs your help! We depend on contributions from foundations, companies and individuals to continue our work in Guinea.

    Our primary goal is to assist hospitals and health centers in Guinea who care for the welfare of the Guinean population. We do this by providing medical aid, improving and upgrading existing infrastructure in health facilities and implementing disease prevention and treatment programs.

    We also aim to improve the overall quality of life of the population by supporting and promoting economic growth and technical development.

    You can make a difference!