WHO expresses concern over increasing cholera cases

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed concern over the persistence of

cholera cases around the world, with 40,900 cases and 775 deaths reported in January.

A report made available on Monday by the WHO said that the cases were from 17 countries across four regions.

It stated that “the regions are the African Region, the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the Region of the Americas,
and the South-East Asia Region.

“Zambia and Zimbabwe have experienced the highest surges, underscoring the ongoing challenge of controlling
cholera and the importance of sustained public health efforts.

“In 2023, cases were reported in 30 countries across five WHO regions, including nine countries that recorded more
than 10,000 cases.”

According to the report, shortage of Oral Cholera Vaccines (OCV) has continued to affect global response to tackle the disease.

It stated that “from January 2023 to January 2024, urgent requests for OCV surged, with 76 million OCV doses requested
by 14 countries, while only 38 million doses were available during that period.”

The WHO report added that the global stockpile of vaccines was awaiting replenishment and all production up till March 8
would be allocated to requests already approved.

It classified the global resurgence of cholera as a grade 3 emergency in January 2023, the highest internal level for emergencies.

It said that based on the number of outbreaks and their geographic expansion, alongside the shortage of vaccines and other
resources, WHO has continued to assess the risk at global level.

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