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Cholera Vaccination Campaign Still Stalled In Haiti, NPR Reports

A planned mass cholera vaccination project in Haiti continues to be “bogged down in bureaucratic red tape,” as spring rains begin and the number of cholera cases starts to rise, NPR’s health blog “Shots” reports. The Haitian medical group GHESKIO and international health organization Partners In Health are organizing the vaccination campaign, which “is awaiting approval from a national ethics committee, which wants assurance that the vaccine is no longer considered experimental,” according to the news service, which notes the “WHO last November approved the dollar-a-dose vaccine that’s ready to be used in Haiti.”

NPR describes an ongoing education campaign to raise awareness of the disease and gauge public interest in the vaccine, as well as a cholera treatment center. “If the project does go forward, however, proponents will face another hurdle,” as “the planned vaccination project will reach only about one percent of the Haitian population,” NPR reports. However, “[t]o bring cholera under control, experts figure they’ll need to vaccinate millions of people at high risk of cholera — before next year’s rainy season,” the news service writes (Knox, 3/27).

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