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UN Rushes Cholera Medication To São Tomé

UN Rushes Medication To São Tomé in New Cholera Outbreak

New York, May 10 2005 3:00PM

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has rushed medication and medical equipment to São Tomé, where more than 130 cases of cholera and three deaths have been reported and most of the island's population is at risk of the dehydrating disease.

"We must not underestimate the extremely dangerous force of this disease," said UNICEF Representative Kristian Laubjerg, from Libreville, the capital of nearby Gabon. "It is extremely urgent that we get clean water and safe toilet and sanitary facilities as quickly as possible to all affected communities to ensure against the death of children, who are especially vulnerable."

UNICEF has sent oral rehydration salts, other medication for the diarrhoeal disease and contributed to the deployment of outreach workers and to massive information and toilet-building campaigns.

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), is implementing needs assessment missions and distributing safe drinking water to affected neighbourhoods.

ENDS

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