Home | Comment & Analysis    Saturday 9 September 2017

The UN’s WHO knows cholera vaccines have been used effectively: why not in Sudan?

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

Eric Reeves

The UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) continues in its refusal to call the cholera epidemic that has spread throughout Sudan by its proper name (cholera is caused by the Vibrio cholera bacterium, easily identified in WHO’s Geneva laboratories).

WHO remains silent, refusing either to confirm or disconfirm the existence of cholera in Sudan. Give the continual reporting, for a year now, by Radio Dabanga and Sudan Tribune, about the existence of a cholera epidemic, it is indisputably WHO’s obligation to make a determination. From its silence we may infer two things:

[1] The ruthless National Islamic Front/National Congress Party regime in Khartoum knows there is a "stigmatizing" cholera epidemic, which is why it threatens health workers and reporters who dare use the word cholera, and has also succeeded in intimidating the WHO into not using the word cholera in any way.

[2] But given the widespread reporting of cholera epidemic in Sudan, WHO would certainly use fecal samples from victims of what they insist on calling “acute watery diarrhea” to disconfirm the existence of cholera, if it possibly could. But it can’t, so it maintains an unconscionable silence.

Why is it important that cholera be named? There are many reasons, including the urgent deployment of medical equipment (primarily massive quantities of re-hydration supplies and cholera treatment medicines) and knowledgeable medical personnel (including infectious disease specialists and epidemiologists familiar with the patterns associated with a cholera epidemic).

Critically, newly developed cholera vaccines could be used, particularly in populations most at risk (Kalma camp and Jebel Marra in Darfur, for example). But the vaccines won’t be distributed unless the disease from which they offer protection is named. WHO itself recognizes the value of such vaccines:

The UN World Health Organization on Cholera Vaccines:

Cholera vaccines | http://www.who.int/topics/cholera/vaccines/en/

In the long term, improvements in water supply, sanitation, food safety and community awareness of preventive measures are the best means of preventing cholera and other diarrhoeal diseases. However, WHO and partners are evaluating the use of newer tools to complement these traditional measures. Oral cholera vaccines of demonstrated safety and effectiveness have recently become available for use by individuals. Some countries have already used oral cholera vaccines to immunize populations considered to be at high risk for cholera outbreaks.

Evidence gained on the use of oral cholera vaccines is evolving rapidly. Work is under way to investigate the role of mass vaccination as a public health strategy for protecting at risk populations against cholera. Issues being addressed include logistics, cost, timing, vaccine production capacity, and criteria for use of mass vaccination to contain and prevent outbreaks.

• Potential use of oral cholera vaccines

• Currently available oral cholera vaccines

[Cholera vaccines are discussed in similar terms by the U.S. Center for Disease Control | https://www.cdc.gov/cholera/vaccines.html/]

The refusal to name the cholera epidemic in Sudan by its proper name is costing more lives and creating more human suffering daily.

Why won’t the UN World Health Organization fulfill its explicit mandate?

Our primary role is to direct and coordinate international health within the United Nations’ system.

Our goal is to build a better, healthier future for people all over the world. Working through offices in more than 150 countries, WHO staff work side by side with governments and other partners to ensure the highest attainable level of health for all people.

— 

Eric Reeves, Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights



The views expressed in the 'Comment and Analysis' section are solely the opinions of the writers. The veracity of any claims made are the responsibility of the author not Sudan Tribune.

If you want to submit an opinion piece or an analysis please email it to comment@sudantribune.com

Sudan Tribune reserves the right to edit articles before publication. Please include your full name, relevant personal information and political affiliations.
Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.


The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


South Sudan and the inhumanity of the death penalty 2019-02-20 12:35:43 By Kur Ayuen Kou I am deeply appalled by the continuous use of the death penalty as the best form of punishment in our fractured society. In a span of one week, South Sudan has carried out six (...)

Evidence suggests inevitable victory of the 3rd Sudanese Revolution 2019-02-20 12:24:17 By Mahmoud A. Suleiman This is Third Sudanese Revolution, which broke out in December 2018, and has been going on for the Sixty Two days without a pause is worthy of Triumphant Victory. It is as (...)

Sudan’s December Revolution is not an Arab Spring 2019-02-16 08:14:10 By Mubarak Ardol Why the Sudanese have decided to put an end to the regime which has ruled them for three decades. Why is this happing now? It is known that Mr Bashir came to power in Sudan by (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Ethnic Murle politicians say enough to cattle raiding 2018-12-28 09:32:00 December 27, 2018 (JUBA) - Murle political leaders in Buma state have vowed to end the practice of cattle raiding and child abduction by individuals in the community. Jodi Jonglei, who is also (...)

CEPO: South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA): Stop politics of split and focus on R-ARCSS implementation 2018-12-26 09:53:29 26th December, 2018. South Sudan Opposition Alliance internal leadership change frication is disturbing and demoralizing public opinion. The big question CEPO is raising, will SSOA be a strong (...)

Progress observed at end of second month of R-ARCSS implementation 2018-10-22 06:44:02 Press Release 21 October 2018 South Sudanese government released 24 detainees in the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement said the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.