Cholera in West Africa

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Sitting outside her home, Mariatu Kamara, center, peels potatoes for stew to sell in the market in Mabella quarter, Freetown, Sierra Leone, Aug. 15, 2012. Many residents of the impoverished quarter lack access to basic sanitation or drinkable water. Médecins Sans Frontières Belgium, in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health, is running four emergency cholera treatment centers to keep up with the number of patients. Many of the roughly 120 daily patients seen by the MSF team come from extremely impoverished areas of the densely-populated capital, where proper systems for drainage and waste disposal are almost non-existent. Outbreaks of water-borne diseases like cholera become even more likely during the rainy season, which is expected to last at least two more months.