So far this year, 24 countries have reported cholera outbreaks, compared to 15 countries during the same period last year.
— Countries that are not normally affected are seeing outbreaks and the mortality rate is high above normal, which is one per hundred infected, says Henry Gray, responsible for cholera control at the WHO, at a press conference.
A major problem in the fight against cholera is the lack of vaccine. Last year 36 million doses were produced, so far this year WHO has requested 18 million doses but only received 8 million.
Gray notes that cholera vaccine is simply not an attractive product, as there is no market for it in developing countries.
“What we have is simply not enough,” he says.
Cholera outbreaks became steadily fewer during the 2000s, but in 2021 the trend reversed. So far this year, Malawi and Mozambique have been worst affected, and a further nine countries are deemed to be in “acute crisis”.