UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- More than 100 people have been killed in a cholera outbreak in Sierra Leone since the beginning of the year, and the epidemic, the worst in 15 years, is affecting regions including Freetown, the capital of the West African country, said Eduardo del Buey, the deputy UN spokesman, here Friday.
"Since the beginning of the year, more than 100 deaths and 6, 200 cholera infections have been reported in Sierra Leone, constituting the worst cholera epidemic in 15 years," del Buey said at a daily news briefing, citing information from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
"The epidemic is concentrated in seven districts including the capital, Freetown," he said. "Nearly 2.5 million (U.S.) dollars from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has been allocated to UN agencies to respond to the epidemic."
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), eight of the country's 13 districts are affected by the outbreak, with the increase in the number of cases in the Western Area of particular concern.
"The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) will use the funding for emergency response," he said.
The Sierra Leonean government on Thursday declared a cholera outbreak a national emergency after 176 deaths and 10,800 reported cases since January, reports said.
The declaration came after a meeting between Sierra Leonean government and officials from the World Health Organization and UNICEF. The government has also set up a special task force to deal with the epidemic.