Ministry Univals Plan to Eliminate Cholera amid Outbreaks

ADDIS ABABA – The Ministry of Health has unveiled a national roadmap to control and eliminate Cholera affecting 11 districts in southeast Ethiopia.

In the past three years, the ministry says more than 10 million doses of cholera vaccines have been administered to five million people.

However, the disease, an acute diarrhoeal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera, remains a national threat to public health.

According to the Ministry of Health, Cholera outbreaks have been reported in nine districts of the Oromia Region and two districts in the Somali region since July 28, 2022.

To date, the Ministry has recorded at least 738 cholera cases including 25 deaths.

Efforts have been scaled up to treat patients and prevent the disease from spreading, Health Minister Dr. Lia Tadesse told a press briefing today.

These efforts involve setting up 13 provisional health centers and stocking up the existing centers with medical supplies.

Dr. Lia Tadesse said two response teams composed of experts from various fields were also sent to outbreak-hit districts to support the ongoing response.

New Plan

Apart from short-term efforts to control cholera, health officials are now gearing up to eliminate the disease from the country.

The Ministry of Health has unveiled an eight-year Multisector Cholera Elimination roadmap with a target to reduce cholera deaths by 90%.

The roadmap, prepared in collaboration with various partner organizations, plans to ramp up responses focussing on priority districts to achieve the target.

The national plan designates 118 districts with a total population of more than 15 million as priority areas.

Health officials say the country will use a multifaceted approach to control and prevent the disease in the designated areas in particular and at the national level.

The approach involves a combination of surveillance, water, sanitation and hygiene, social mobilization, treatment, and oral cholera vaccines, as per Dr. Lia.