Via MSF, a report published on June 1: Vaccinating Against Cholera in Guinea. Excerpt:
More than 170,000 people in the Boffa region of Guinea recently became the first in Africa to receive a new two-dose oral vaccine for cholera, said the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which led the vaccination campaign.
The initiative, MSF said, could spur an improved response to cholera epidemics worldwide. In collaboration with the Guinean Ministry of Health, MSF focused its response on Boffa, a coastal region near Conakry, which was considered a hotspot of the epidemic.
"We were faced with an outbreak and we wanted first to protect people by vaccinating them, and to limit the spread of cholera," said Dr. Dominique Legros, MSF’s innovation initiative manager in Geneva.
"MSF is regularly involved in responding to cholera outbreaks and it is always difficult to control the disease. Because cholera evolves quickly, oral vaccination provides us with a new tool to try to contain [it]. If we can control the most active spots, we can reduce the spread of cholera."
Since the vaccination campaign, MSF and its partner Épicentre have strengthened epidemiological surveillance in the region in order to monitor the evolution of the epidemic and the efficacy of the vaccine over the next six months.
The results of this surveillance will be analyzed and used to develop a comprehensive global response strategy for future epidemics, which will enable MSF teams to deploy quickly to vaccinate communities and protect more people.