NIGERIA – The Nigerian government has partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to support ongoing cholera preparedness, prevention , vaccination drive and response training for stakeholders in Abuja.
Eliminating cholera outbreaks in Nigeria is supported by the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC), a WHO-led global technical partnership that offers an effective and well-coordinated platform for ending cholera.
The Global Task Force on Cholera Control is a global network of organizations that brings together partners involved in the fight against cholera across all sectors, providing an effective country-driven platform that promotes a multi-sectoral well-coordinated approach.
The cross-sectoral approach involves disease surveillance and reporting confirmed suspected cases, easy access to oral cholera vaccines along with strengthening healthcare systems.
Consequently, the health organization will be training health professionals in Abuja on 25th to 29th on the significance of integrating the oral cholera vaccine (OCV) as an option for emergency and preventive cholera outbreak response.
The workshop comes at a time when the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control disclosed that Nigeria recorded a total of 3,566 deaths and 103,589 suspected cholera cases across 32 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory as of 1st November 2021.
The session seeks to address the associated lack of human resources knowledgeable about cholera vaccines in Nigeria by building awareness and practical skills on developing an emergency OCV campaign.
The preventive oral cholera vaccine campaign request includes how to identify areas in an active outbreak to target OCV as a control intervention and how to identify hotspots to prevent cholera outbreaks as part of a multi-year OCV plan.
WHO Regional Director for Africa Rebecca Matshidiso Moeti said the workshop targeted the Anglophone Cholera Priority countries to strengthen the capacities of health professionals from ministries of health (MOH), key in-country partners and independent individuals.
‘” The stakeholders are likely to lead or be part of decision making regarding the inclusion of OCV in cholera control activities or who may coordinate an OCV campaign,” she added.
She stressed that priority countries are to plan OCV campaigns in targeted cholera hotspots as a component of their National Cholera Control Plan.
Moreover, the training aligns with ‘Ending Cholera: A Global Road Map to 2030’ which is intended for individuals that will be involved in the planning and implementation of oral cholera vaccine campaigns.
It further contributes to the global road map launched in 2017 targeting a 90% reduction in cholera deaths by 2030 and the elimination of cholera in at least 20 countries out of the 47 currently affected.
Additionally, the seminar will highlight the significance of oral cholera vaccines to complement sanitation and hygiene for prevention and control of cholera outbreaks in a step towards vaccine equity and universal health coverage.