ICDDR,B team in Sierra Leone

An International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) team has arrived in Sierra Leone on Thursday to assist World Health Organization (WHO) in tackling cholera outbreak,, which has so far claimed over 200 lives in the African country. 

According to a media release, the water-borne disease is spreading fast in Sierra Leone‘s overcrowded capital, Freetown, amid heavy rains, and poor sanitation. 

The WHO estimates that the number of cases could reach 32,000, with the outbreak peaking towards the end of September. 

TheICDDR,B team consists of Dr. Pradip K. Bardhan, Chief Physician of the Dhaka Hospital, Dr. Azharul Islam Khan, Head of Diarrhoeal Diseases Unit and Dr. Md. Sirajul Islam, Head of Environmental Microbiology Lab. 

They will join other international experts working closely with Sierra Leone‘s ministry of health to develop early detection programmes and train local health care providers in case management and reporting, the media release added. 

“The fact that we treat hundreds of cases of acute watery diarrhoea every week at the Dhaka Hospital gives us unique insights into this condition,” Dr. Khan was quoted as saying before leaving for Sierra Leone

“We’re happy to share our experience whenever the need arises.” 

With growing expertise, ICDDR,B has extended its assistance to help manage cholera outbreaks in the past to other countries. 

Since 1994, ICDDR,B teams have travelled widely to help fight the disease, from Rwandan refugee camps in what is known as the Democratic Republic of Congo, to Pakistan and Zimbabwe