The United Nations (UN) launched in Haiti, the second phase of the vaccination campaign against cholera, which was initiated and implemented by the Haitian authorities as part of the broader framework of the national plan for the elimination of cholera in the country.
The campaign aims to vaccinate 200,000 people living in the communes where the disease persists in particular the department of Artibonite, Central and West. The action was taken pursuant to the recommendations of the Technical Advisory Group of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO / WHO) on preventable diseases.
According to these experts, oral vaccines two doses against cholera are safe and provide durable protection close to 70% and are effective for a period of two years in endemic areas.
In August 2013, a similar campaign a two-dose was conducted by the Government of Haiti with the support of the United Nations and was able to reach a population of about 107,000 people distributed in the municipalities of Petite Anse in North and Cerca Cavajal in the Central Plateau.
This campaign is a priority measure in the context of the struggle for the elimination of cholera, complementary to other interventions for prevention and response implemented since the epidemic began in October 2010.
In addition to emergency action, the UN supported the government on longer term initiatives, including the campaign for total sanitation, jointly launched in July by Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and the Secretary-General of the United Nations during his visit to Haiti.
Cholera is believed to have been introduced to the Caribbean island by UN peace keeping forces, since Haiti had no cases reported for over a century. Allegedly the bacteria, according to the identified type originated in Nepal.