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WHO worried over rising global cholera cases

by Haruna Gimba

By Muhammad Amaan

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has expressed concern over persistent cholera outbreaks across the globe, noting that 40,900 cases and 775 deaths were reported in January.

In a report made available on Monday, the WHO noted that cases were recorded in 17 countries across four regions.

“The regions are the African Region, the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the Region of the Americas, and the South-East Asia Region.

“Zambia and Zimbabwe have experienced the highest surges, underscoring the ongoing challenge of controlling cholera and the importance of sustained public health efforts.

“In 2023, cases were reported in 30 countries across five WHO regions, including nine countries that recorded more than 10,000 cases,” the WHO stated.

The report went on to note that Oral Cholera Vaccines have continued to affect global response to tackle the disease.

“From January 2023 to January 2024, urgent requests for OCV surged, with 76 million OCV doses requested by 14 countries, while only 38 million doses were available during that period,” it added.

The WHO report added that the global stockpile of vaccines was awaiting replenishment and all production up till March 8 would be allocated to requests already approved.

It classified the global resurgence of cholera as a grade 3 emergency in January 2023, the highest internal level for emergencies.

According to the WHO, based on the number of outbreaks and their geographic expansion, alongside the shortage of vaccines and other resources, it has continued to assess the risk at the global level.

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