World Health Organisation (WHO) says the number of cholera cases decreased globally by 60 per cent in 2018.
The organisation in a statement issued from its headquarters in Geneva titled: “Cholera Prevention and Control Report.” The report pointed to an encouraging trend in cholera prevention and control in the world’s major hotspots, including Haiti, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in the statement said “the decrease we are seeing in several major cholera-endemic countries demonstrates increased engagement of countries. “It demonstrates increased engagement of countries in global efforts to slow and prevent cholera outbreaks and shows the vital role of mass cholera vaccination campaigns. “We continue to emphasize, however, that the long-term solution toward ending cholera lies in increasing access to clean drinking water and providing adequate sanitation and hygiene.”
heads WHO’s cholera programme in Geneva, Dr Dominique Legros, also said “the global decrease in case numbers we are observing appears to be linked to large-scale vaccination campaigns as countries are beginning to adopt the Global Roadmap to 2030 strategy in their national cholera action plans.
“We must continue to strengthen our efforts to engage all cholera-endemic countries in this global strategy to eliminate cholera.” The statement disclosed that nearly 18 million doses of Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) were shipped to 11 countries in 2018. It said since the OCV stockpile was created in 2013, almost 60 million doses were shipped worldwide. It added that “Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, provided funding for purchase of the vaccine and financial support for the global vaccination drive. “the Global Roadmap aims to reduce cholera deaths by 90 per cent and eliminate transmission in up to 20 countries by 2030. “The Global Roadmap provides clear guidance on how to prevent and, ultimately, eliminate cholera.
Cholera is an acute diarrhoea infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera. It affects both children and adults and can kill within hours if left untreated. WHO estimates that each year, cholera infects one million to four million people and claims up to 143,000 lives. The statement noted that there were 499,447 cases of cholera and 2,990 deaths in 2018, reports from 34 countries showed. It stated that while outbreaks were still ongoing in many countries, the caseload represented significant downward trend in cholera transmission that had continued into 2019.