Cholera Vaccination in Urban Haiti
Successful and sustained efforts have been made to curtail the major cholera epidemic that occurred in Haiti in 2010 with the promotion of hygiene and sanitation measures, training of health personnel and establishment of treatment centers nationwide. Oral cholera vaccine (OCV) was introduced by the Haitian Ministry of Health as a pilot project in urban and rural areas. This paper reports the successful OCV pilot project led by GHESKIO Centers in the urban slums of Port-au-Prince where 52,357 persons received dose 1 and 90.8% received dose 2; estimated coverage of the at-risk community was 75%. This pilot study demonstrated the effort, community mobilization, and organizational capacity necessary to achieve these results in a challenging setting. The OCV intervention paved the way for the recent launching of a national cholera vaccination program integrated in a long-term ambitious and comprehensive plan to address Haiti's critical need in water security and sanitation.