WHO to begin cholera vaccination program in Iraq

WHO to begin cholera vaccination program in Iraq. | Courtesy of the CDC

The World Health Organization (WHO) will be initiating a vaccine treatment program against cholera in Iraq, the organization announced on Tuesday.

According to a report from the United Nations’ (UN) News Center, there have been cases of the disease in 15 out of 18 governances in Iraq. There has also been a report of a suspected case in the northern region of Syria.

The WHO has been working with the Iraqi Ministry of Health to deliver approximately 510,000 of the global stockpile of oral cholera vaccines, which will allow 255,000 individuals to receive two doses each. In addition to vaccines, the organization will supply diarrheal disease kits and sanitation tablets to be used in heavily infected areas.

WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier explained that the amount of vaccinations will not be sufficient for everyone, but it is expected to block the disease from causing future outbreaks.

Regarding the case in Syria, the organization reported that a child has died in the northern region of the country prior to medical personnel being able to confirm the disease from a sample.

Cholera is spread through contact with, or ingestion of, infected waste matter through contaminated food and water. The disease can lead to severe dehydration, shock and death if left untreated.

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