Use of Oral Cholera Vaccine in Haiti: A Rural Demonstration Project
A cholera epidemic has claimed the lives of more than 8,000 Haitians and sickened 650,000 since the outbreak began in October 2010. Early intervention in the epidemic focused on case-finding, treatment, and water and sanitation interventions for prevention of transmission. Use of oral cholera vaccine (OCV) as part of a complementary set of control activities was considered but initially rejected by policymakers. In December 2011, the Minister of Health of Haiti called for a demonstration of the acceptability and feasibility of the use of OCV in urban and rural Haiti. This paper describes the collaborative activity that offered OCV to one region of the Artibonite Department of rural Haiti in addition to other ongoing treatment and control measures. Despite logistics and cold chain challenges, 45,417 persons were successfully vaccinated with OCV in the region, and 90.8% of these persons completed their second dose.