Haiti begins post-hurricane vaccination against cholera: WHO

GENEVA, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- A major vaccination campaign began in Haiti on Wednesday to help tackle the rise in cholera cases following Hurricane Matthew, the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a press release.

The campaign, supported by WHO and other partners, aims to vaccinate some 800,000 people living in 16 communes in the departments of Sud and Grand'Anse, the areas most affected by Hurricane Mathew a month ago.

Since Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti on Oct. 4, there has been a significant increase in suspected cases of cholera and deaths in several places.

To reduce the morbidity and mortality caused by cholera and to prevent the spread of the disease in other departments of the country, vaccines will be applied to each person over one year of age living in the 16 communes targeted for vaccination.

According to experts, this single vaccine will avoid between 60 percent and 70 percent of severe cases of cholera. Gavi, the vaccine alliance, funded one million doses of oral cholera vaccine to be used in the campaign.

"Vaccination is a tool for the control of cholera. It is an additional measure to achieve the elimination of cholera in Haiti," said the Minister of Health of Haiti Daphnee Benoit Delsoin.

National authorities also strongly emphasized the importance of providing safe water, and are making continuous calls for the population to practice hand hygiene and food washing measures.

[ Editor:yfs001]

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