Global Cholera Outbreak: Alarming Statistics and Urgent Response Measures

2023-09-23 13:00:00

Amal Allam wrote Saturday, September 23, 2023 04:00 PM

Comprehensive cholera statistics for 2022, published by the World Health Organization today, highlight the scale and extent of the ongoing cholera outbreak. While data on cholera remains insufficient, cases reported to WHO in 2022 were more than double those recorded. In 2021, 44 countries reported cases, an increase of 25% from the 35 countries that reported cases in 2021.

Not only were there more outbreaks, but the outbreaks were larger, with 7 countries – Afghanistan, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Nigeria, Somalia and the Syrian Arab Republic – reporting more than 10,000 suspected and confirmed cases, the larger the outbreak. , the more difficult it is to control.

The organization said, Cholera It is an acute intestinal infection spread through food and water contaminated with feces containing the Vibrio cholerae bacteria. This is closely linked to the lack of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation services, due to underdevelopment, poverty and conflict. Climate change also plays a role in this increase, as climate events lead to Extremes such as floods, droughts and hurricanes can cause new outbreaks and exacerbate existing ones.

Current data for 2023 suggest that this global rise continues, and 24 countries are currently reporting active outbreaks, with some countries in the midst of severe crises.

The growing demand for cholera materials is challenging disease control efforts globally, and since October 2022, the International Coordination Group (ICG) – the body that manages emergency supplies of vaccines – has suspended the standard two-dose vaccination regimen in cholera outbreak response campaigns, using instead This includes the single-dose approach.

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WHO supports countries in responding to cholera outbreaks on an emergency basis by strengthening public health surveillance, case management and prevention measures, providing essential medical supplies, coordinating field deployments with partners, and supporting risk communication and community engagement.

WHO has launched an appeal for US$160.4 million for the cholera response through the Global Strategic Plan for Preparedness, Preparedness and Response, and US$16.6 million has been released from the WHO Emergency Fund for cholera responses in 2022 and 2023.

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