First Outbreak Response Using an Oral Cholera Vaccine in Africa

Author Summary

Two safe and effective oral cholera vaccines are recommended by the World Health Organization for cholera prevention and control; however, concerns about the acceptability, potential diversion of resources, cost and feasibility of implementing timely campaigns has discouraged their use. In 2012, the Ministry of Health of Guinea, with the support of Médecins Sans Frontières, organized the first mass vaccination campaign using a two-dose oral cholera vaccine (Shanchol) as an additional control measure to respond to an on-going nationwide epidemic. This was also the first time that Shanchol was used in a mass vaccination campaign on the African continent. High coverage was reached within a few weeks, and the campaigns were well accepted by the population. Synergies between different axes in cholera control interventions should be pursued as described here, and although oral cholera vaccines should not be foreseen as the long-term solution for global cholera control, they should be integrated as an additional tool into the outbreak response strategies.

Haber: Hasan Naz

Posted October 25, 2013