Cholera vaccination drive targets 2 million people in 5 African nations
7 May 2018 - An unprecedented response to a spate of cholera outbreaks across Africa is under way but vaccinations alone will not be enough, said UN health experts and partner agencies.
Between now and June, some two million people will benefit from an inoculation drive across five countries.
Dr Michael Ryan, Deputy Executive Director of WHE, said that effective as vaccines are, access to clean water and sanitation are just as important.
Online course on revised cholera kits and calculation tool launched
In 2016, WHO introduced the Cholera Kits. These kits replace the Interagency Diarrhoeal Disease Kit (IDDK) which had been used for many years. The Cholera Kits are designed to be flexible and adaptable for preparedness and outbreak response in different contexts.
This online course, housed on the OpenWHO.org learning platform, aims to provide basic understanding of the Revised Cholera Kits, their modules and how to use the calculation tool. The course takes an hour to complete.
The Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC) brings together partners from around the world to support countries in their fight against cholera, offering an effective platform hosted by WHO. In launching the strategy, "Ending Cholera: A Global Roadmap to 2030" the GTFCC partners aim to globally reduce cholera deaths by 90%. With the commitment of cholera-affected countries, technical partners, and donors, as many as 20 countries could eliminate the disease transmission by 2030.
Cholera is inherently linked to water supply and is spread when people consume contaminated food or water. “Cholera is a disease of inequity. The poverty map of the world is the same as the cholera map,” says Dominique Legros, a cholera expert at WHO. Typical at-risk areas are peri-urban slums, with precarious basic infrastructures, as well as internally displaced or refugee camps, where minimum requirements of clean water and sanitation are often not met.
Since the creation of the global stockpile in 2013, more than 5 million doses of oral cholera vaccine (OCV) have been successfully used in various outbreaks and humanitarian emergencies. The use of oral cholera vaccines is an additional tool to the classic cholera control measures. It should be systematically considered in both endemic countries as well as during outbreaks and emergencies.
The composition of the cholera kits has been reviewed by WHO and its partners. The contents of all modules have been updated and reorganised to be better adapted for field use in different settings.
The revised cholera kits are designed to help prepare for a potential cholera outbreak and to support the first month of the initial response. The overall package consists of six different kits, each divided in several modules. The kits and modules can each be ordered separately.
Global Task Force
The Global Task Force on Cholera Control works on cholera prevention and its global control by: supporting strategies for capacity development; technical exchange, coordination, and cooperation; developing research agenda, and increasing visibility of cholera.
Prevention and control
Weekly Epidemiological Record
Cholera annual report 2016
Cholera vaccines: WHO position paper
Prevention, control and elimination of cholera in Africa
Revised cholera kit
Global efforts to control cholera worldwide are entering a new phase following the development of safe and effective oral cholera vaccines (OCV).These new tools have opened up the possibility of preventing outbreaks in high risk areas.