Cookie policy: This site uses cookies (small files stored on your computer) to simplify and improve your experience of this website. Cookies are small text files stored on the device you are using to access this website. For more information please take a look at our terms and conditions. Some parts of the site may not work properly if you choose not to accept cookies.


Subscribe or Register

Existing user? Login

Public health

World Health Organization to send 1 million doses of cholera vaccine to Haiti to avert new cases

A relative drip-feeding a patient in the Cholera Treatment Centre in Haiti

Source: Reuters / Alamy Stock Photo

The World Health Organization says that since Hurricane Matthew hit the island, there has been a sharp increase in cholera cases, while 35 of the 197 health facilities on the island have been affected by the storm

The World Health Organization (WHO) will send 1 million doses of oral cholera vaccine to Haiti because of concerns that the hurricane-devastated country will experience a spike in new cholera cases.

The decision to send the vaccines and other medical supplies, announced on 11 October 2016, is aimed at averting new outbreaks of the disease before the onset of Haiti’s peak cholera transmission period, which is from November to January — during the rainy season.

Dominique Legros, cholera expert at the WHO, says that since Hurricane Matthew hit the island on 4 October 2016 there has been a sharp increase in cholera cases, with more than 200 suspected cases reported since the storm hit.

Legros is due to travel to the island to discuss with Haitian health authorities how best to use the vaccine. There are two options for using the 1 million doses, says Legros: the commonly used two-dose strategy, which could protect 500,000 people for two years; or a single-dose campaign, which would be easier to implement and cover 1 million people — but this would only offer short-term protection.

The WHO had previous experience with a large-scale single dose campaign in Bangladesh in 2014, Legros says. “It had proved effective for six months,” he explains. 

The 1 million doses of oral cholera vaccine destined for Haiti will come from the WHO’s global stockpile of 2.2 million doses. Each dose costs US$1.85 but with the inclusion of shipment and delivery the total cost is about US$6 per dose, says Legros.

According to the WHO, 35 of 197 health facilities in Haiti — including hospitals, clinics and treatment centres — have been affected by the floods and heavy winds following the hurricane.

Meanwhile, the United Nations launched a flash appeal for Haiti on 10 October 2016, seeking US$119.8m in aid funds from donors, which will be aimed to assist up to 750,000 people impacted by the storm over three months.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201829

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • BNF and BNF for Children

    BNF and BNF for Children

    Now available as a 1 year print subscription to both the BNF and BNFC, ensuring you have the latest medicines information as it publishes and at a greatly reduced price.

    £138.50Buy now
  • Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Pharmaceutical Toxicology

    Explains the methodology and requirements of pre-clinical safety assessments of new medicines. Includes registration requirements and pharmacovigilance.

    £40.00Buy now
  • Sport and Exercise Medicine for Pharmacists

    Sport and Exercise Medicine for Pharmacists

    All the information you need to provide patients with evidence-based advice on sports and exercise related health matters.

    £27.00Buy now
  • Paediatric Drug Handling

    Paediatric Drug Handling

    Written for new pharmaceutical scientists, this book provides a background in paediatric pharmacy and a comprehensive introduction to children's medication.

    £33.00Buy now
  • Foundation in Pharmacy Practice

    Foundation in Pharmacy Practice

    A practical and succinct overview of the principal pharmacy practice topics, for new pharmacy students.

    £33.00Buy now

Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save
  • Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

Supplementary images

  • A relative drip-feeding a patient in the Cholera Treatment Centre in Haiti

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.