The Ministry of Health received on Wednesday two million doses of an oral vaccine against cholera, provided by UNICEF and the Global Vaccine Initiative (GAVI).
Dr. Hassan al-Ghabash, Minister of Health, said that all preparations have been completed to launch the campaign on the 4th of December and will last for two weeks, in Aleppo countryside, Deir-ez-Zor, Hassakeh, and al-Raqqa, as a first stage, as they are the most affected by the disease.
The cumulative total of confirmed cholera infections in Syria registered 1556 cases, of which 49 died.
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The announcement from Damascus comes at a time where cholera vaccine production has not met surging demand, as the bacterial infection surges globally due to conflict, poverty, and climate change, AP reported. The UN World Health Organization in October announced the temporary suspension of a two-dose cholera vaccination strategy because of this, and officials have since administered single doses to benefit more people in the short-term. According to the World Health Organization, a cholera infection is caused by consuming food or water infected with the Vibrio cholerae bacteria. While most cases are mild to moderate, not treating the illness could lead to death. Syria’s cholera outbreak has crossed frontlines and borders into opposition-held northwestern Syria, and into neighbouring Lebanon and Iraq – all places with crippled water infrastructure, economic turmoil, and large refugee populations. Lebanon in October announced its first cholera case in nearly 30 years.
This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.