BY HIZKEL HAILU
In addition to HIV, Covid-19 and other diseases, Cholera is amongst the most serious social ills in the world. Therefore there is a need to make treatment for such social harms like what the world is doing so far.
Cognizant of this fact, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) in collaboration with the Ministry of health and Health Bureaus of five states has officially offered a five day Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) campaigns to safeguard the societies from Cholera pandemic.
The treatment campaign that was given last week in Sidama, Gambela, South Nation, Nationality and People, Somali and Oromia regions aims to achieve a 10-years national plan to reduce cholera induced death by 90 percent by 2030.
During the launching ceremony held at Weste Guji Zone, Abaya Woreda of Oromia Regional State, EPHI Deputy Director General Asichalew Abayneh stated that the vaccination helps to minimize tremendously prevent the highly transmitted but easily treated Cholera across the nation.
“Furthermore, we are preparing to implement vaccination, as well as to mobilize communities to increase personal and environmental hygiene practice through identifying 118 vulnerable Woredas where the plan will be implemented. Following the effort, the second cycle treatment will be held by the coming week” he noted.
The outbreak has been reported at every corner of the country from 2018/19 with the exception of Benishangul Gumuz Region. Based on the preventive and control measures taken from the affected areas since 2018/19 to mid-December, a total of 17,956 people were infected and 319 lost their lives due to the cholera epidemic.
Aschalew further noted that the vaccination will address more than 1.6 million cholera prone people across the nation of which 140 thousand will be from Abaya Woreda who are above the age of one year.
EPHI, in collaboration with regional and local organizations, is quickly responding to cholera outbreaks. Accordingly, the cholera vaccine was successfully addressed to 613,572 (94.3 percent) people from some selected areas and Woredas of Oromia, South, Nation, Nationality and People, Somali, Afar regions as well as Addis Ababa city administration last year.
“If we work together, we will avoid each social, economic and political problem other than pandemics like cholera and Covid-19”, he asserted. Adding to the point that health issues are not the only duty of the Ministry of Health, he pledged religious leaders, elders, the community and both government and non-government development partners to work to make their contribution in keeping the environment clean.
Speaking to The Ethiopian Herald Deputy Head of Oromia Health Office Dr. Dereje Abidena said that the vaccination will help residents of the region and fellow citizens living in the neighboring States.
Mentioning that more than 1,200 peoples have been affected by the disease during this fiscal year, he stressed that his office is trying to address potable water for residents coupled with creating awareness about how people can protect themselves from the disease.
As to him through the awareness creation campaigns for the people, 85 percent of the total populations have access to rest rooms in their compound of which 52 percent have standard quality. Therefore the bureau in collaboration with UNHCR is working ardently in keeping private and community hygiene and capacity building programs for the health officers, he noted.
Similarly, Dr. Sali Kinta West Guji Zone Health Bureau Head and Yaikob Halaba Health Officer at Abaya Woreda underlined that they have provided the vaccination for the community in line with Covid-19 prevention protocols recommended by WHO and Ministry of Health, Ethiopia.
As a result, health professionals who provide the vaccine and those who come for the vaccine will be given a face mask to protect them from the Corona virus during this campaign. Besides, hand washing with soap and clean water, using a sanitizer, physical distancing and other measures to prevent from Covid-19 were recommended.
They further called on the public to use this golden opportunity in order to prevent and control the disease, adding to the point that the vaccination covers only 65 percent for the treatment while the rest 35 percent should be prevented by self-treatment and keeping private and public hygiene.
In addition to Ethiopia, cholera pandemic was spread in different world countries like India, Yemen, Canada, Nepal, and other African countries like Mozambique, Congo, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Somali in Africa, it was learnt.
The Ethiopian herald January 5/2021