The World Health Organization has released 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies to tackle cholera.
During an online news conference, the World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, announced this.
According to Ghebreyesus, the organization is supplying vital supplies, coordinating the on-the-ground response with partners, assisting nations in the detection, prevention, and treatment of cholera, and educating individuals on how to take preventative measures.
“To support this work, we have appealed for 160 million dollars, and we have released more than 16 million dollars from the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies.
“But the real solution to cholera lies in ensuring everyone has access to safe water and sanitation, which is an internationally recognized human right,” he said.
He said that the WHO had just published fresh statistics that showed the number of cases recorded in 2022 had more than doubled that of 2021.
He claimed that the early evidence for 2023 indicated that things will probably get worse.
“So far, 28 countries have reported cases in 2023 compared with 16 during the same period in 2022.
“The countries with the most concerning outbreaks right now are Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq and Sudan.
“Significant progress has been made in countries in Southern Africa, including Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, but these countries remain at risk as the rainy season approaches,” Ghebreyesus said.
Dr. Ghebreyesus noted that the most severely impacted regions lack access to safe water and sanitation. These areas face shortages of cholera vaccines and supplies and strained health workers due to multiple disease outbreaks and emergencies.
Regarding COVID-19, he highlighted rising hospitalizations and ICU admissions in the past month, especially in the Americas and Europe, as winter approaches.
The WHO chief expressed concern over low vaccination rates among high-risk groups, emphasizing the importance of booster doses. He stressed that although COVID-19 is not as acute a crisis as before, it should not be ignored.
Countries must maintain their response systems, including surveillance, community protection, and access to treatments, to address COVID-19 and other infectious threats effectively.
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