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Sierra Leone - Multi-sectoral Multi-year Cholera Preparedness and Response Plan 2013-2017

"According to Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MOHS), Cholera ranks among the five most important epidemic-prone diseases in Sierra Leone. Cholera cases have occurred regularly in particular communities in Sierra Leone. There is a serious threat of spread from such communities to other areas in the country.

The prevailing strain is El-Tor which Sierra Leone experienced as its first epidemic in 1970. It was nationwide and met the country ill prepared leading to a fairly high attack rates and case fatality. Since then, the country has experienced three huge epidemics in 1985, 1994, 1995. There were several epidemics during the period 1998-2008 that caused major concern among public health authorities, healthcare workers, relief agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs.) However, a significant reduction in case fatality rate from 8.6% in 1985 to 2.3% in 1995 was observed during these outbreaks (Table 4). Proper case management has contributed to low case fatality during the most recent outbreaks.

November 2011, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation, through the weekly surveillance reporting system noted an increase in number of diarrhoea and vomiting (D & V) cases.[...] The Government of Sierra Leone then declared an outbreak of cholera on the 27 February 2012. [...] The magnitude of this epidemic and the limited resources resulted in many partners contributing to the response during the initial stages. The cholera lessons learnt and post epidemic evaluation was conducted to assess the  response so as to identify the strengths, weaknesses and gaps that would guide the development of this multisectoral, multi-year cholera preparedness and response plan.


Sierra Leone has had cholera outbreaks during the rainy season from past years. The epidemiological cycle varied which requires the country to be on the high alert  particularly during rainy season when most of the outbreaks occurred. It is imperative for the country to be on the alert and put in place preparedness and response mechanism


Implementation of the Cholera Preparedness and Response plan will mitigate cholera outbreaks and reduce the case fatality. The prevention of cholera in the country will have a marked impact on the general well-being of the community, socially and economically, by reducing the disease burden especially among the high risk communities in the cholera prone areas. To raise the profile of cholera beyond the health sector, a well-publicized launch of the plan will be done in due course."

 These documents are related to the country webpage, accessible here: Sierra Leone