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CHOLERA IN AFRICA: NEW MOMENTUM IN FIGHTING AN OLD PROBLEM

Saturday, 17th of May 2014 Print

CHOLERA IN AFRICA: NEW MOMENTUM IN FIGHTING AN OLD PROBLEM

  1. Martin A. Mengel*

- Author Affiliations

  1. Agence de Médecine Préventive, Enteric Diseases and Diarrheal Diseases, 164 Rue de Vaugirard, Paris 75015, France
  1. *Corresponding author: Tel: + 34657346215; E-mail: mmengel@aamp.org
  • Received February 21, 2014.
  • Revision received April 15, 2014.
  • Accepted April 16, 2014.

Abstract below; full text is available to journal subscribers.

Cholera remains a grave public health problem in Africa. It is endemic with seasonal variations around the central African Great Lakes. Along the coasts, it occurs mostly in rapidly expanding epidemics, with intercalated 3–5 year lull-periods. Case-fatality ratios remain high at 2–5% against the global declining trend. Insufficient safe water and sanitation coverage are the main causes of persistent cholera in Africa and this is unlikely to improve soon. However, an efficacious oral cholera vaccine is now available and new groups and initiatives like the African Cholera Surveillance Network (Africhol) allow countries to enhance their capacities for an integrated cross-border approach using all means necessary to tackle cholera in Africa.

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