Erbil, Iraq - An estimated 250 000 displaced persons will be targeted during the oral cholera vaccine (OCV) campaign to help control cholera outbreak in Iraq. The World Health Organization (WHO) has mobilized 510 000 doses of OCV, and the 2-dose campaign is part of a strategy to prevent cholera transmission in high-risk areas and avert a potentially large-scale cholera outbreak in the 62 camps for refugees and internally displaced people.
Preparation for the campaign is now in its final stage in 14 governorates. The campaign begins with an initial round of vaccinations during the first week of November followed by – after, as required, a minimum 14 days' interval – a second round of doses, which will complete the vaccination. For such a campaign to be effective, it is vital that a second dose is administered. Targeted social mobilization, campaign logistics and health education are key components to ensure the successful implementation of OCV. In order to achieve herd immunity, all members of a family above one year of age will be vaccinated.
The cholera outbreak in Iraq continues to pose a threat inside the country as well as among its neighbouring countries. Since the start of the outbreak on 15 September 2015, the Ministry of Health has reported 2173 laboratory confirmed cholera with 2 deaths from 15 out of 19 governorates.
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