* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
EFFORTS are under way to stop the spread of a cholera epidemic that has already affected hundreds of people in Cameroon, reports global children’s charity Plan International.
More than 1,600 cases have been reported in the Far North region of the country, with 74 deaths.
Plan is working to raise awareness about the importance of hygiene and prevention, as fears grow over the disease.
“We’re providing drugs to treat cholera, disinfecting public spaces and co-ordinating awareness campaigns in affected areas,” says Felix Addo-Nyarko, Plan’s Deputy Country Director in Cameroon.
“But we need more help, because the epidemic is spreading fast,” he adds.
Plan has already secured a £65,000 grant from the START Fund, a multi-donor body which releases money for emergencies.
It is helping to fund thousands of drugs for people affected by the disease at health centres across the region.
Plan is also supplying buckets, drinking cups and water purification tablets, to stop the spread in Mogode area. Awareness-raising campaigns have begun in Gawar and Bering.
“Children and their families are strongly encouraged to respect key hygiene practices such as proper hand-washing in order to minimise the spread of cholera,” says Mr Addo-Nyarko.
Plan is also working on a media campaign, with adverts broadcast on television and radio to educate people about the issue.
For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit www.plan-uk.org