WHO warns of deadly cholera outbreak in 24 countries
geneva – The World Health Organization (WHO) this Friday warned of an alarming increase in cholera outbreaks around the world – mainly in the east and south africa– this year and its high mortality.
From January to mid-May, 24 countries saw new outbreaks of cholera, although more than 1 billion people in 43 countries are at risk of the epidemicAccording to the World Health Organization’s director for the global response to cholera, henry gray,
Currently the most serious cases are Mozambique And malawiWhere 90,000 people were affected by cholera in the first three months of 2023 with severe flooding.
Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, Syria, Zambia and Zimbabwe are in a “severe crisis”.
“We must be prepared for more and more cases,” warned the expert.
Problems with access to drinking water and basic sanitation services are a major cause of cholera epidemics, which are exacerbated in cases of conflict due to large movements of people.
“The point here is to address issues of access to water, sanitation and dignity as human beings. Vaccine as a preventive can help stop the chain of transmission, but the basis of everything is water and sanitation. to guarantee early access,” Gray said.
The WHO pointed out that resources to face this situation are woefully inadequate, as well as the production of vaccines, whose stocks are barely allowing the communities at greatest risk to be partially immunised.
There are only 8 million of the 18 million doses needed, according to agency figures, which is why containment campaigns in high-risk places have had to be curtailed.
In addition, the WHO has been forced to reduce the dose administered from two to one for the purpose of protecting – even for short periods of time – those most at high risk of dying, such as that children.
“Cholera kills fast and so we need to react quickly to save lives,” the head of public health and emergencies unicefJerome Pfaffman Zambruni.
To this end, WHO and UNICEF presented a joint annual response plan for the disease that would involve action in 40 countries and would require more than $600 million.