A cholera epidemic sweeping through west and central Africa, one of the largest in the region’s history, has killed at least 2,466 and infected 85,000 more, this year alone, according to the United Nations.

Unicef, the UN Children’s Fund, said on Tuesday the virulent disease was causing an “unacceptably high” rate of fatalities and called for a redoubling of efforts from government agencies.

“The size and the scale of the outbreaks mean the region is facing one of the biggest epidemics in its history,” UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado told a news briefing in Geneva.

Five countries – Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Nigeria – account for 90 per cent of overall cases and deaths in more than 20 countries.

Chad is experiencing its largest cholera outbreak ever recorded, while nine out of 10 Cameroonian districts are reporting cases. In the western Democratic Republic of Congo, fatality rates as a consequence of the disease exceed five per cent. Read more…