The Somali strategy for Cholera prevention and control 2020-2024

Cholera is an acute gastrointestinal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio Cholerae serogroup O1 or O139, and is often linked to unsafe drinking water, lack of proper sanitation and personal hygiene. It adversely affects mostly the poor and vulnerable populations in countries, which are already deprived of proper health facilities and conducive environmental conditions. The disease spreads through oro-fecal transmission by the ingestion of contaminated food or water or by person-to-person contact. It has a short incubation period of 2 hours to 5 days and the number of affected cases can rapidly increase across large regions. Cholera is a significant threat to global public health leading to an estimated 3-5 million cases per year worldwide, with an annual toll of 100,000 deaths. The disease was first reported in 1817 from the Ganges Delta of India and since then the ongoing 7th pandemic has emerged from Indonesia, reached Africa in 1970 and Somalia happens to be one of the early affected countries. Over the past few decades, Somalia has witnessed the occurrence of repeated AWD/Cholera disease outbreaks that have caused high morbidity and mortality across the country.