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WHO EMRO Weekly Epidemiological Monitor: Volume 14; Issue no 15; 11 April 2021

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Strategic framework for ending cholera in the Region

The strategic framework for ending cholera as a public health threat in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region has been developed to establish effective and efficient cholera prevention and outbreak preparedness and response capacities in Member States. This strategy prepares and guides countries in the Region to implement comprehensive and effective prevention and control measures against cholera.

Editorial Note

Cholera remains a significant public health problem in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Over the past 10 years, at least 9 out of 22 countries have reported cholera cases, often in explosive epidemic proportions. Afghanistan, Iraq,
Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen are considered to be endemic for cholera. There have been 35 cholera outbreaks in the Region during the ten year period between 2009 and 2019 in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. The highest number of cholera outbreaks were reported in 2017, and the disease continued to contribute to the largest proportion of outbreak disease cases in 2019 at 85.3% of reported cases.

Cholera is therefore a major public health problem that requires collective effort among countries and stakeholders. The implementation of this framework will standardize key prevention and control measures and it is expected to result in Member States being better prepared to prevent, detect and respond to the threat of cholera, protecting people in the Region from the health, social and economic impacts of the disease.

The framework has been developed through a wide consultative process and is aligned to the global strategy “Ending Cholera – A Global Roadmap to 2030” developed by the Global Task Force on Cholera Control. It provides guidance to political and technical leaders as well as other regional stakeholders to coordinate, plan, implement and evaluate actions to end cholera by 2030 (see table 2). It aims to support national planning on cholera prevention and control in the Region;