Editorial | Volume 2, Article 21, 23 Apr 2019

The Beginning of the End for Cholera in Africa

Chima Ohuabunwo, Christine Kihembo, Allan Mwesiga

Corresponding author: African Field Epidemiology Network, Kampala, Uganda

Received: 28 Feb 2019 - Accepted: 14 Mar 2019 - Published: 23 Apr 2019

Domain: Health communication,Epidemiology,Public health

Keywords: Cholera, WHO-AFRO, ACoDD, Africa, Outbreak response, Zimbabwe

©Chima Ohuabunwo et al Journal of Interventional Epidemiology and Public Health (ISSN: 2664-2824). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution International 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Cite this article: Chima Ohuabunwo et al . The Beginning of the End for Cholera in Africa. Journal of Interventional Epidemiology and Public Health. 2019;2:21.

Available online at: https://www.afenet-journal.net/content/article/2/21/full

Home | Volume 2 | Article number 21


The Beginning of the End for Cholera in Africa

The Beginning of the End for Cholera in Africa

Chima Ohuabunwo1, Christine Kihembo1, Allan Mwesiga1,&


1African Field Epidemiology Network, Kampala, Uganda



&Corresponding author
Allan Mwesiga, African Field Epidemiology Network, Kampala, Uganda. amwesiga@afenet.net




Cholera is an important public health problem in Africa. AFENET is contributing to the multi-faceted efforts to reduce its impact. AFENET does this through supporting Ministries of Health and working with international and local partners. Outbreak response has been the mainstay of understanding and controlling Cholera in Africa. The work of the African Corps of Disease Detectives (ACoDD) fellows during the recent Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe is highlighted in this issue. New initiatives hold significant promise. One initiative supported by the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa (WHO AFRO) has over 80% of African countries committed to reducing the impact of this stubborn public health problem by 90%. By 2030. Africa is becoming healthier.



Editorial Up    Down

The peril that is cholera continues to plague efforts towards a healthier African continent and the world through recurrent outbreaks. Over 50 percent of all globally reported cases are from Africa [1]. An estimated 120,000 people die of the disease globally each year [2]. Cholera has been termed “a significant cause of illness and death in many African countries” and “a persistent health problem in sub-Saharan Africa and worldwide” [3-4]. The African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) continues to work with different partners through the use of multi-faceted approaches to counter this stubborn public health problem. Though projects like AFRICHOL and AFENET LAB, strengthening surveillance, studying the feasibility of a vaccine and strengthening public health laboratory capacity have been explored as means of controlling future cholera outbreaks [5-6].


Outbreak response remains the principal means of controlling and studying cholera on the continent. AFENET member programs continue to deploy residents and alumni (through initiatives like ACoDD) to aid in surveillance and response efforts [7-8]. One of the more recent examples of this is featured in this issue, namely, the Cholera outbreak response efforts in Zimbabwe [8]. This issue highlights the experiences and lessons learned during the 2018 Cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe. Some of the articles featured in this issue showcase how AFENET residents and alumni can support Ministries of Health in their efforts to respond to outbreaks. They also demonstrate the benefits of a trained and coordinated public health workforce in the face of an ever present public health problem like Cholera.


Forty seven African countries have adopted “The Regional Framework for the Implementation of the Global Strategy for Cholera Prevention and Control” [9]. A key aim of the framework is the reduction by 90% of the magnitude of cholera outbreaks by 2030 [9]. Globally, the efforts of the Global Task Force on Cholera Control and the Global Alliance Against Cholera and other Waterborne Diseases towards the prevention and elimination of cholera mark its importance as a public health problem [10-11]. The eventual elimination of Cholera will require the coordination of several aspects including epidemiological surveillance and continual research [12]. AFENET is privileged to be a part of this effort to better health outcomes in Africa by ending cholera’s endemicity on the continent. Include your work here, organize in paragraph.



Competing interests Up    Down

The authors declare no competing interest



References Up    Down

  1. WHO. Number of reported cholera cases. WHO. 2019. Accessed Feb 2019.

  2. WHO. Number of deaths due to cholera. WHO. 2019. Accessed Feb 2019.

  3. CDC. Cholera in Africa. CDC. Accessed Feb 2019.

  4. Lessler J, Moore SM, Luquero FJ, McKay HS, Grais R, Henkens M, et al. Mapping the burden of cholera in sub-Saharan Africa and implications for control: an analysis of data across geographical scales. The Lancet. 2018 May 12;391(10133):1908-15.https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(17)33050-7 PubMed | Google Scholar

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  6. AFENET. AFENET LAB. AFENET. Accessed Feb 2019.

  7. AFENET. Public Health Surveillance at Namugongo: Martyrs’ Day celebration, Uganda .AFENET. Accessed Feb 2019.

  8. AFENET. ACoDD teams support ministry of health and partners to respond to the cholera outbreak in Harare, Zimbabwe. AFENET. Accessed Feb 2019.

  9. WHO. African Health Ministers commit to ending cholera outbreaks by 2030. WHO Regional Office for Africa. Accessed Feb 2019.

  10. G.A.A.C. Methodology for the elimination of cholera. The Global Alliance Against Cholera (G.A.A.C.). 2017. Accessed March 2019.

  11. World Health Organization. Global Taskforce on Cholera Control. Ending Cholera: A Global Roadmap to 2030. World Health Organization. 2017. Accessed March 2019.

  12. Sack DA. A new era in the history of cholera: the road to elimination. Int J Epidemiol. 2013 Dec 1;42(6):1537-40.https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyt229 Google Scholar































The Beginning of the End for Cholera in Africa


The Beginning of the End for Cholera in Africa


The Beginning of the End for Cholera in Africa

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