UN, Partners Announce Anti-Cholera Road Map

There are an estimated 95,000 cholera-related deaths and another 2.9 million more people affected annually.

A task force of United Nations and international partner agencies is planning to launch a new strategy to fight cholera, trying to reduce deaths by 90 percent by 2030, the UN health agency announced Oct. 3. "This is a disease of inequality that affects the poorest and most vulnerable. It is unacceptable that nearly two decades into the 21st century, cholera continues to destroy livelihoods and cripple economies," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO).

There are an estimated 95,000 cholera-related deaths and another 2.9 million more people affected annually. The Global Task Force on Cholera Control, a network of more than 50 UN and international agencies, academic institutions, and others, will launch on Oct. 4 "Ending Cholera: A Global Roadmap to 2030," which pinpoints endemic hotspots where predictable cholera outbreaks occur year after year.

"WHO is proud to be part of this new joint initiative to stop deaths from cholera. This road map is the best way we have to bring this to an end," said Tedros Adhanom.

The project aims to align resources, share best practices, and strengthen partnerships among affected countries, donors, and international agencies. It underscores the need for a coordinated approach to cholera control; WHO projects as many as 20 affected countries could eliminate cholera by 2030. "Every death from cholera is preventable with the tools available today, including use of the oral cholera vaccine and improved access to basic safe water, sanitation, and hygiene as set out in the Roadmap," the WHO chief added.

Today, more than 2 billion people worldwide lack access to safe water and are potentially at risk of cholera, WHO reports.

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