Gripped by its worst cholera outbreak in nearly 15 years, which has already left 229 dead, Sierra Leone is likely to see cases triple in the next month as the rainy season hits its peak, estimates show.
In Freetown, the densely populated seaside capital, makeshift houses without toilets or running water crowd the muddy green hills surrounding the city. Slums cluster on the seafront, where rubbish chokes streams and children play in dirty water.
With the heavy rains, which one NGO worker described as "turning a bucket upside down", and poor hygiene and living conditions, cholera has spread rapidly, leaving thousands stricken with vomiting, diarrhoea and stomach cramps.
The outbreak has prompted the government to declare a national emergency.
Across the country some 13,300 people have so far been infected by the water-borne disease, and with September typically bringing the heaviest rains, cases are expected to hit 32,000, according to the government and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
At 34 Military Hospital in the west of the city, Doctors Without Borders is manning one of several dedicated cholera treatment centres set up around the capital.
One doctor there reported "a streaming procession of patients".
Relatives mill around the treatment centre, their faces drawn as they wait for news of their loved ones, while nurses hook new patients up to drips and porters scrub the floor to get rid of the stench.
"I was brought here rather dehydrated and I had given up hope that I would live," murmured Alimatu Turay, lying listlessly on a stretcher, her eyes half-open.
"I had eaten two pieces of roast meat for breakfast and after about an hour, I could hardly control my vomiting and bowel movements. Now I am feeling better, although still delirious, but I think I have passed the danger point," she said.
Unclean street food is a vector for the disease, and health inspectors are moving around the capital ordering food vendors to cover their wares, but this has not prevented a drop in business, an AFP correspondent reported.