The Ministry of Health in Mozambique has concluded a successful six-day emergency cholera vaccination campaign that reached more than 800 000 people in four districts affected by Cyclone Idai.
The campaign was supported by around 1200 community volunteers and partners including the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Save the Children.
“From start to finish, this campaign was one of the fastest ever, thanks to experienced people at the Ministry of Health, who knew there was a high risk of a cholera outbreak and made a rapid request for the vaccines as soon as the cyclone hit,” says Dr Djamila Cabral, Head of the WHO office in Mozambique in s statement on Wednesday.
The oral cholera vaccines, donated by Gavi from the Global Cholera Vaccine Stockpile, arrived in Beira on Tuesday 2 April and, within 24 hours, began reaching people in need.
The vaccines were given to communities identified by the government at highest risk – those without access to safe water and sanitation – in Beira, Dondo, Nhamatanda and Buzi districts.
Vaccine uptake has been very high and the campaign has been well received by the communities.
Remaining vaccines will be used for other at-risk communities that were not reached by the initial campaign.
People develop protection against cholera approximately 7 days after receiving the vaccine.
One dose of this oral vaccine provides around 85% protection against cholera for 6 months.