Largest cholera vaccine drive in history aims to target spike in outbreaks

15 May 2018

Article: 52/1906

A spate of cholera outbreaks across Africa has prompted the largest cholera vaccination drive in history, with more than two million people across the continent set to receiveĀ oral cholera vaccine (OCV).

The vaccines, funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, were sourced from the global stockpile and are being used to carry out five major campaigns in Zambia, Uganda, Malawi, South Sudan and Nigeria. The campaigns, which will be completed by mid-June, are being implemented by the respective ministries of health supported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners of the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC). They are mostly in reaction to recent cholera outbreaks.

The burden of cholera remains high in many African countries. As of 7 May 2018, many countries are facing cholera outbreaks, with at least 12 areas or countries reporting active cholera transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. Recent developments in the use of OCVs show that the strong mobilisation of countries and partners can effectively tackle the disease when tools for prevention and control are readily available.

Source: WHO, 7 May 2018