To tackle the alarming resurgence of cholera, UNICEF has launched a new comprehensive Cholera Toolkit on 15 May 2013.
The toolkit launch […] will be the culmination of a thorough review of existing guidance and global consultation with UNICEF at all levels and from all divisions in Africa, along with main partners in the fight against cholera, such as the World Health Organization as the lead agency.
There are 3-5 million cholera cases each year, killing 100,000 to 120,000 people, half of whom are children under 5 years old. Only 5-10% of cases are reported. In Western and Central Africa, there were more than 80,000 cases of cholera in 2012 resulting in nearly 1,500 deaths.
The Toolkit provides the health and WASH sectors an integrated approach to cholera prevention, preparedness and response. In addition it includes specific content linked to education, nutrition, communication for development (C4D), child protection and other relevant sectors.
UNICEF Cholera Kit, p. 41
“What the toolkit does is harvest the best and most up-to-date knowledge in the field and brings it together in one location,” said UNICEF Chief of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sanjay Wijesekera. “It looks at the evidence. It looks at practices that have produced results.”
Download the Toolkit at: www.unicef.org/cholera
Source: UNICEF, 15 May 2013
Source: Oxfam Policy and Practice Blog, Aug 13, 2012, by Elizabeth Lamond, HSP Public Health Engineer Coordinator
Oxfam’s Cholera Outbreak Guidelines were developed as an internal resource, but today we are sharing them externally in order to seek input from the international humanitarian community. We hope that this feedback will inform later editions in order to develop a powerful resource for anyone looking to prepare for, prevent and control a cholera outbreak. Here, one of the authors of the Guideline, Bibi Lamond, explains more.
I have been responsible for implementing and coordinating cholera outbreak programmes since 2006. In my work I have found that, although there are numerous documents and books on medical intervention for cholera control, there are no comprehensive water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH) guidelines.
Oxfam’s new publication, the Cholera Outbreak Guidelines aims to meet this need and could set standards for other emergency WASH actors.
The content of the Guidelines has evolved from firsthand field experience in Oxfam’s emergency cholera programmes in Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. It has also drawn on information from other NGOs, such as Médecins Sans Frontières, renowned for their cholera work in the field.
Issue 58 June 1, 2012 | Focus on WASH-Related Diseases
The World Health Organization lists more than 20 diseases that are related to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions. This issue focuses on three of those:
- diarrhea, and
- typhoid fever
Information and resources for each of the three diseases include fact sheets, videos, recent peer-review studies, and links to additional resources. Future issues will focus on additional WASH-related diseases.
OXFAM – Hygiene promotion: determining what works, 2012. Humanitarian field studies | Cholera response in Haiti
When a massive earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010, followed by a cholera epidemic that broke out in October of that year, Oxfam rushed assistance—clean water, sanitation, and hygiene materials and information—to hard-hit areas to protect public health.
Hygiene promotion is arguably the most important intervention in a cholera epidemic: the route of cholera transmission is fecal-oral, and contaminated hands are often the principal vector. So Oxfam engages in a wide range of hygiene-promotion activities to encourage washing hands—specifically, washing hands with soap at key moments, such as before eating and after defecation.
But which of our interventions have been the most effective, and why? Is it more important to put resources into hygiene-themed theater productions or radio call-in shows? There is little hard evidence to suggest that—in Haiti or in emergencies anywhere—one hygiene-promotion activity works better than another. But lives, not to mention valuable resources, may depend on the answer, so in the spring of 2011, Oxfam engaged Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, to study the effectiveness of our hygiene-promotion activities in Haiti.
Twitter messages were providing data that would have been a quicker way of detecting and tracking the 2010 cholera outbreak in Haiti than traditional methods, according to a study  published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
The study found that online social media and news feeds were faster than, and broadly as accurate as, the official records at detecting the start and early progress of the epidemic, which hit Haiti after the earthquake in January 2010 and has killed more than 6,500 people.
The authors used HealthMap, an automated surveillance platform, to measure the volume of news media generated during the first 100 days of the outbreak, and they also looked at the number of ‘cholera’ posts on Twitter.
The United Nations has been hit with a demand for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from Haitian cholera victims.
The Boston, USA-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) filed the demand on behalf of some 5,000 victims.
IJDH is demanding US$ 50,000 in compensation for each sick person and US$ 100,000 for each death. In addition, it wants a public apology and an adequate nationwide response – including medical care and clean water and sanitation infrastructure.