Drop in cholera cases worldwide, as key endemic countries report gains in cholera control

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Drop in cholera cases worldwide, as key endemic countries report gains in cholera control
19 December 2019 WHO News release
The number of cholera cases decreased globally by 60% in 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced in a report that points to an encouraging trend in cholera prevention and control in the world’s major cholera hotspots, including Haiti, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“The decrease we are seeing in several major cholera-endemic countries demonstrates the increased engagement of countries in global efforts to slow and prevent cholera outbreaks and shows the vital role of mass cholera vaccination campaigns,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We continue to emphasize, however, that the long-term solution for ending cholera lies in increasing access to clean drinking water and providing adequate sanitation and hygiene.”

There were 499,447 cases of cholera and 2990 deaths in 2018, according to reports from 34 countries. While outbreaks are still ongoing in various countries, the case load represents a significant downward trend in cholera transmission that has continued into 2019, according to data collected by WHO.

“The global decrease in case numbers we are observing appears to be linked to large-scale vaccination campaigns and countries beginning to adopt the Global Roadmap to 2030 strategy in their national cholera action plans,” said Dr Dominique Legros, who heads WHO’s cholera programme in Geneva. “We must continue to strengthen our efforts to engage all cholera-endemic countries in this global strategy to eliminate cholera.”

Nearly 18 million doses of Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) were shipped to 11 countries in 2018. Since the OCV stockpile was created in 2013, almost 60 million doses have been shipped worldwide. Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, has provided funding for purchase of the vaccine and financial support for the global vaccination drives….