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WHO to integrate Oral Cholera Vaccine in emergencies

The World Health Organization is to conduct training for health professionals on the importance of integrating the oral cholera vaccine (OCV) as an option for emergency and preventive cholera outbreaks in endemic countries. 

The training which aligns with ‘Ending Cholera: A Global Road Map to 2030, is intended for individuals that will be involved in the planning and implementation of OCV campaigns.

According to the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Rebecca Matshidiso Moeti, the road map launched in 2017 targets a 90% reduction in cholera deaths by 2030 and the elimination of cholera in at least 20 countries out of the 47 currently affected. 

According to the road map, priority countries are to plan OCV campaigns in targeted cholera hotspots as a component of their National Cholera Control Plan (NCP). However, there are some challenges.

As such, the workshop aims to strengthen the capacities of health professionals, partners, and independent individuals who are likely to lead decision-making regarding the inclusion of OCV in cholera control activities.  

The workshop also seeks to address the associated lack of human resources knowledgeable about OCV by building awareness and practical skills on developing an emergency and preventive OCV campaign, including how to identify areas in an active outbreak.

The WHO African Region Member States, including Nigeria, have experienced several cholera outbreaks characterized by high case-fatality rates, and vaccination against cholera are increasingly used as additional control measures for the prevention and the control of cholera outbreaks since 2013. 

Reporting by Nancy AnikaEzie, editing by Daniel Adejo.