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Investing In WASH Infrastructure Vital To Preventing Cholera Outbreaks In Haiti, Worldwide

Miami Herald: We need a better strategy to fight against cholera
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…[F]or a highly preventable disease like cholera, vaccine stockpiles while certainly helpful cannot be a long-term solution. … Right now, the immediate focus and hope is that we can prevent a large outbreak in Haiti by leveraging vaccine stockpiles to buy us time while [water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH)] interventions are improved or put in place. But for the long-term we need to find other solutions to prevent cholera, rather than relying upon outbreak response as the last resort, especially given current global population trends. … The global health community could increase stockpiles to reflect the increase in risk, but how big is big enough? Clearly, when a disease is as preventable as cholera the focus has to be on preventing the causes in the first place through investment in WASH infrastructure. For now, though, in Haiti let us just hope that one million doses of vaccine will be enough” (10/25).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.