Blog

  • Stop the Guessing: Fighting Cholera through Better Formative Research

    Tom Davis, MPH

    Global Sector Lead for Sustainable Health, World Vision International
    Little girl practices safe hand washing
    Little girl practices safe hand washing

    In order to be successful in our efforts to stop cholera, we need to better understand why some people adopt behaviors that stop cholera, while others do not. Although we all have pet theories on why people decide to do things based on our own anecdotal experience, we can often be wrong. To decide if vaccines and antibiotics are effective, we don’t sit around a table and guess - we would consider this highly unethical and unscientific. Yet when it comes to promoting behaviors, that’s what many projects end up doing. We need to stop the guessing, and conduct better formative research on the behavioral determinants for WASH behaviors and cholera immunization.

  • Stop Yelling: Using Neighbors to Mobilize Communities to Stop Cholera

    Tom Davis, MPH

    Global Sector Lead for Sustainable Health, World Vision International
    Man speaks into loudspeaker during vaccination campaign. Photo: WHO/C. Black
    Man speaks into loudspeaker during vaccination campaign. Photo: WHO/C. Black

    Achieving high levels of coverage of multiple-dose vaccines – such as the cholera vaccine – takes more than good logistics. Promoting turnout for immunization requires the use of evidence-based community mobilization methods. In 1983, I was involved with some of the early mass immunization efforts in Haiti while working for International Child Care, an organization that led the first mass immunization in Haiti years earlier.

  • The Incomplete Report

    Among the many affected by cholera throughout Yemen, these infected children lie on the ground in a hospital in Sanaa. Photo: KHALED ABDULLAH/REUTERS/Newscom
    Among the many affected by cholera throughout Yemen, these infected children lie on the ground in a hospital in Sanaa. Photo: KHALED ABDULLAH/REUTERS/Newscom

    An article in the World Health Organization (WHO) August Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) reported that since the creation of the global stockpile for oral cholera vaccine (OCV) in 2013, 55 campaigns have been conducted using nearly 13 million doses [1]. A majority of the OCV doses (73%), were used in emergency settings, while 27% were used in non-emergency settings to control endemic cholera. The report described OCV deployments in terms of the setting, targeted populations, campaign timelines, and coverage. The increasing trend in OCV use in affected countries is an achievement that the WHO can be proud of.

  • Oral Cholera Vaccine Recommendations through the Years

    Anna Lena Lopez, MD

    Research Associate Professor | Inst. of Child Health & Human Development, Univ. of the Philippines Manila-National Inst. of Health
    Three-year-old Salomon looks on as he undergoes treatment for cholera at the general hospital in Minova. Photo: Arjun Claire
    Three-year-old Salomon looks on as he undergoes treatment for cholera at the general hospital in Minova. Photo: Arjun Claire

    On April 25-27, 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) Strategic Advisory Group of Experts (SAGE) on vaccines and immunization took up oral cholera vaccination during its meeting, with a view of updating the 2010 WHO position paper [1]. WHO regularly releases position papers to guide member states on vaccines and immunization that have global public health importance.

  • Yemen’s Cholera Crisis: Fighting Disease During Armed Conflict

    Doctors treat patients with cholera in Yemen, Photo Courtesy of Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action
    Doctors treat patients with cholera in Yemen, Photo Courtesy of Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action

    This podcast was produced by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action and originally appeared here."

    Yemen is currently facing the world's worst cholera epidemic. As of August, the WHO reported that over 500,000 suspected cholera cases and nearly 2,000 associated deaths had occurred since the end of April alone.  One of many factors that has caused such a large-scale outbreak is the ongoing armed conflict. How do you fight disease during an armed conflict?