The Ministry of Health, with support from UNICEF and WHO, has launched the National Integrated Comprehensive Cholera Prevention and Control Plan (NICCP2017-2022), to consolidate the gains in prevention and control of cholera and move towards elimination.
This plan, according to the ministry, will coordinate resource mobilization and implementation of priority targeted cholera prevention and control interventions at all levels with focus on social mobilization and community empowerment.
The plan will also promote access to safe water, good sanitation and hygiene, surveillance and laboratory confirmation of outbreaks, prompt case management and infection control, complementary use of Oral Cholera Vaccine and coordination and stewardship for the actors.
Since communities with recurrent cholera outbreaks are defined, implementation of the NICCP17-22 will allow for more targeted interventions to be carried out, accelerating reduction in cholera morbidity and mortality.
According to the National Development Plan Vision 2040, Uganda will move to middle income status within the next few years, which should come with elimination of diseases of poverty such as cholera.
Cholera is a preventable and treatable acute diarrheal disease caused by infection of the intestine, usually transmitted through consumption of water or food contaminated by faeces bearing the cholera organism.
In the same vein, the Ministry of Health has launched the revised Operational Guidelines for the prevention and control of cholera and other diarrheal diseases.
These guidelines seek to prevent new cases of cholera through promotion of intensive public health education, sanitation, hygiene, food safety and ensuring safe water complemented by Oral Cholera Vaccination (OCV) for vulnerable groups, as well as reducing deaths from cholera through early detection, reporting, case management and increased access to healthcare.
This effort is in line with health sectors development Plan 2015/16-2019/2020 that purposes to accelerate movement towards universal health coverage with essential health and related services needed for promotion of a healthy and productive population.
The guideline offer a framework for the development of a comprehensive multi-sectoral preventive and response strategy for prevention and control of cholera in Uganda, Cross-border collaborations, communication and coordination before, during and after the outbreaks.
Cholera remains a major public health threat in communities with inadequate sanitation and safe water and affects both children and adults. About 20% of those who are infected develop acute, watery diarrhea.
Ministry of Health has therefore revised these strategies to consolidate ad harness new approaches, which include selective administration of recommended antibiotics to immediate contacts of cholera patients, Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDTs), Zinc for treatment of cholera in children and complementary use of Oral Cholera Vaccines.
These guidelines seek to prevent new cases of cholera through promotion of intensive public health education, sanitation, hygiene, food safety and ensuring safe water complemented by Oral Cholera.