This month, the World Health Organization (WHO) launched a global campaign to reduce cholera deaths by 90% between now and 2030.
The strategy, launched by the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC), aims to control cholera in 47 countries through interventions focused on the early detection, quick response and future prevention of cholera outbreaks.
NIBSC holds an important role in the WHO prequalification testing of oral cholera vaccines (OCVs), one of the key interventions outlined in this plan.
The Global Roadmap for cholera control
Whilst measures to control cholera are now available, it continues to affect almost 3 million people each year.
The Global Roadmap to 2030 outlines a package of effective cholera control methods including improvements to water, sanitation and hygiene systems and effective local surveillance and reporting. It also proposes the large-scale use of OCVs to reduce disease while longer-term strategies are developed.
The new plan will focus on cholera ‘hotspots’, where fatality rates are high and health care, water quality and sanitation systems are poor.
Yemen is currently the focus of the world’s largest cholera outbreak, which has killed over 2,000 people and infected nearly 700,000 in the past 5 months alone.
Supporting supply of Oral Cholera vaccines
In 2013 the WHO created the world’s first OCV stockpile, that has now delivered over 13 million doses worldwide.
Between 2015-2016 NIBSC scientists were involved in the WHO prequalification testing of OCVs produced by three manufacturers. These vaccines are now eligible to be part of the WHO’s stockpile.
WHO prequalification testing process ensures OCVs meet agreed standards for quality, safety and potency. The results are used by procurement agencies, such as UNICEF, to make decisions about the bulk purchase of medicines and vaccines.
The availability of OCVs and maintenance of the WHO stockpile will contribute to the future success of this new strategy.
Find out more about NIBSC work towards Cholera control.