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Red Cross funds cholera fight in Nepal

21 August 2009

Man speaking to crowdNepal Red Cros SocietyThe British Red Cross has released £15,000 from its Disaster Fund to fight a cholera outbreak in Nepal.

Around 50,000 people have already been hit by the disease in the current outbreak, which has claimed 268 lives.

The money from the British Red Cross is supporting work by the Nepal Red Cross Society, and will be used to increase hygiene promotion efforts, which are key to halting the spread of the disease.

Community education

“Cholera outbreaks in Nepal are relatively rare – until 1997 the country had been free of the disease for a decade, so to see it re-emerging on this scale is extremely worrying,” said Pete Garratt, relief operations manager for the British Red Cross.

“Basic hygiene is the biggest issue and, although work also needs to be done to ensure clean water supplies and sanitation, the most important factor in tackling the disease is community education.

“Teaching people good hygiene practices will not only protect people now, but should help keep them keep safe for the rest of their lives, so that is where the bulk of the British Red Cross money is going.”

Saving lives

Hygiene education to prevent cholera will include leaflets, posters, community information boards, street theatre and visits to schools. The Nepal Red Cross will also be distributing tens of thousands of water purification kits and almost 100,000 sachets of life-saving oral rehydration salts to those affected.

“The British and Nepal Red Cross have a good, longstanding relationship and there is a British Red Cross delegate in Nepal who has helped with the response to the cholera outbreak,” added Pete.

“Supporting partner National Societies in health emergencies such as this – helping save lives and building resilience against future emergencies – is a vital part of what we do.”


Donations can be made to the British Red Cross Disaster Fund online below or by calling 0845 054 7205. 

A donation from our Disaster Fund has already been made in response to this crisis. Contributions to the Disaster Fund will not be used directly in response to cholera in Nepal, but will be used in response to other emergencies in the future.

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