A recent outbreak of cholera in the Lao PDR's southern province of Sekong killed three people and affected over 300 who fell seriously ill. Health officials say the cause was consumption of unclean water.
362 people from thirty villages in and around the towns of Lamaam and Tha Taeng were affected when the outbreak struck in late 2007. Authorities say 80% have now recovered, except for the three who succumbed to the disease.
Consumption of unsanitary and dirty water in Laos is widespread. Only 40% of the Lao population has access to clean water systems. People in rural areas depend on water from creeks and rivers, or underground water from wells. The unsanitary condition of the water is aggrevated by garbage and trash that people dispose of every where without thinking or knowing of health risks.
To prevent further disaster, Lao authorities have embarked on a
campaign to encourage people to boil their water first before consumption.
They have also launched a vaccination campaign for children with the aim to have two million children immunized by the end of this year.
Listen to our Laos Today report for more details.