By David Kipkorir
Kenya is among 10 countries taking active measures towards cholera control plans in alignment with a Global Road Map to end the disease.
A global task force in conjunction with the World Health Organisation (WHO) last year launched an ambitious strategy to reduce cholera related deaths by 90 percent by 2030.
The task force was launched by the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC), a network of more than 50 nations, international agencies, academic institutions, and NGOs supporting countries affected by the disease.
Ending Cholera: A Global Roadmap to 2030 also targets elimination of cholera in at least 20 countries of the 47 currently affected.
The 10 countries now taking active measures towards cholera control plans are Bangladesh, Haiti, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Sudan, Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
In addition, 47 African countries adopted the Regional Framework for the Implementation of the Global Strategy for Cholera Prevention and Control in August at the 68th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa.
WHO says cholera affected countries have demonstrated strong leadership and determination to stop cholera outbreaks.
Cholera kills an estimated 95,000 people and affects 2.9 million more every year, spreading in endemic ‘hotspots’ where predictable outbreaks occur each year.
In Kenya, cholera has been recurring with unpredictable cases being reported often.
The disease impacts communities already burdened by conflict, lack of infrastructure, poor health systems, and malnutrition.
The introduction of the oral cholera vaccine has bridged the gap between emergency response and longer-term control.
Two WHO-approved oral cholera vaccines are now available and individuals can be fully vaccinated for Sh600 per person, protecting them from the disease for up to three years.