Ethiopia today officially launched a preventive oral cholera vaccination campaign targeting 2 million people aged 1 year and above in Tigray region in the north of the country to avert a potential outbreak.

The vaccination drive, which began on 10 June, will cover 13 priority districts in Tigray and is being carried out alongside measures such as provision of water purification tablets and handwashing soaps to improve water, sanitation and hygiene.

The Ethiopian Public Health Institute and the Tigray Regional Health Bureau are leading the campaign, with logistical support from the Ethiopian Pharmaceutical Supply Agency, and technical and operational support from World Health Organization and partner organizations.

Planning for the campaign was led by the Tigray Regional Health Bureau, with WHO providing technical guidance , while the vaccines were provided by the International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision through the Global Taskforce for Cholera Control with funding of the operational cost by GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance. WHO also facilitated the request, procurement and shipment of the vaccines.

“In addition to WHO’s role in the procurement and deployment of the vaccine doses, WHO teams have been working with our teams providing technical, operational and logistical support. I commend the unreserved support and look forward to our continued partnership to ensure the health and safety of the people of Tigray,” said Dr Fasika Amdeselassie, head of the Tigray Health Bureau.

Vaccinators trained by the Regional Health Bureau, EPHI and WHO are going through communities and camps for internally displaced persons administering the vaccine in the first-round of the campaign in Tigray, one of Ethiopia’s regions prone to seasonal cholera outbreaks.




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