Gene Stowe | March 7, 2018
Sean Moore, a research assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Eck Institute for Global Health, has coauthored a paper mapping the incidence of cholera in Africa, a critical step in the World Health Organization’s goal of reducing cholera deaths by 90 percent over the next decade.
“Mapping the burden of cholera in sub-Saharan Africa and implications for control: an analysis of data across geographical scales” appeared in The Lancet on March 1, 2018.
The mapping enables targeted application of cholera elimination strategies to high-incidence areas for most immediate and effective control. Reports often aggregate cases for a whole country and do not identify high-incidence areas within the country.
“We need a better understanding of where the current cholera burden is highest so we can target prevention and control efforts. This burden estimate can also serve as a baseline so we can compare results moving forward,” Moore says. “You don’t know how good an intervention is unless you know where you started.”
Long-term solutions to cholera include access to clean water, effective sanitation, and improved hygiene. Recently developed low-cost vaccines protect users for three to five years and provide the possibility of disease reduction while appropriate infrastructure is established. Outside of recent epidemics in Haiti and Yemen, most reported cholera outbreaks and epidemics occur in Africa.