WHO Announces global resurgence of Cholera

Elishabawa 4 weeks ago 0 5

Announcement of Cholera Outbreak and Eradication of Sleeping Sickness by WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported a significant increase in cholera cases across various global regions. Since the beginning of the year, approximately 195,000 cases and over 1,900 fatalities have been documented in 24 countries.

The highest number of cholera cases has been recorded in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, followed by the African Region, the Region of the Americas, the Southeast Asia Region, and the European Region. As of the latest bulletin released on Wednesday, there have been no reported cases in the Western Region.

Despite exhausting its global stockpile of Oral Cholera Vaccines (OCV) by March, WHO managed to surpass its emergency target by distributing over five million doses by early June 2024. However, the demand for the vaccine remains significantly higher than the available supply. Since January of last year, 16 countries have requested 92 million doses of OCV, nearly double the 49 million doses produced during that period. WHO, along with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners, is working to find sustainable solutions to combat cholera.

In more positive health news, WHO announced that Chad has successfully eradicated the gambiense form of human African trypanosomiasis, commonly known as sleeping sickness, as a public health problem. This achievement brings Chad into a group of about 50 countries that have eliminated at least one neglected tropical disease (NTD). WHO Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus praised the efforts of Chad’s government and citizens, stating, “I congratulate the government and the people of Chad for this achievement. It is great to see Chad join the growing group of countries that have eliminated at least one neglected tropical disease.”

With improved access to early diagnosis, treatment, and effective surveillance and response systems, countries have demonstrated the ability to control and eventually eliminate the transmission of sleeping sickness. This progress aligns with the goal of reaching 100 countries free of neglected tropical diseases by 2030, as outlined in WHO’s road map. Sleeping sickness, if untreated, progresses from flu-like symptoms to severe neurological issues such as behavior changes, confusion, sleep disturbances, and potentially death. The eradication in Chad marks a significant step toward global health improvement and the elimination of NTDs.

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