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Breaking: WHO Calls For Emergency Stockpile Of Cholera Vaccine!

 
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Canada
08/21/2012 12:35 PM
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Breaking: WHO Calls For Emergency Stockpile Of Cholera Vaccine!
A month ago the results of a successful cholera vaccine project in Haiti became available. Now the World Health Organization is calling for the establishment of a global stockpile of the vaccine to respond to outbreaks like Haiti's.

The WHO's technical advisers cited the recent Haiti vaccination project, involving 100,000 people in Port-au-Prince and a rural area, as evidence that cholera vaccination can work in the midst of an outbreak — a proposition that has engendered controversy since Haiti's epidemic began in late 2010.

Critics argued that vaccination would distract from treating cholera victims.

Moving with unusual speed, the WHO is seeking funds to launch the stockpile, which would initially contain enough doses to vaccinate a million people and cost $10 million a year to maintain. The vaccine costs $1.85 a dose, and two doses are needed over a few weeks' time to achieve 60 to 85 percent protection.


But it's clear the WHO envisions a much bigger stockpile down the road.

"As manufacturers ramp up production in the near future, the experts unanimously recommended moving toward universal vaccination," the WHO and its sister organization the Pan American Health Organization said in a statement.

Universal cholera vaccination in Haiti would require almost 20 million doses. That in itself would not eliminate cholera there, but the experts now agree that vaccination would help curb the illness, along with programs to increase access to clean water and sewage treatment.

More than a half-million Haitians have been infected with cholera since 2010, and more than 7,400 have died from the disease. The neighboring Dominican Republic has reported more than 25,000 cases and over 400 deaths. And this summer, Cuba began to see cholera cases for the first time since it was a Spanish colony in the 1800s.

The chairman of the WHO technical advisory group, Dr. Ciro de Quadros, called the results of the Haitian demonstration projects "highly impressive" and said they "really provide a road map for what we can do in the near future." The group met earlier this week in Washington.

The deputy director of PAHO, Dr. Jon Andrus, who was initially skeptical of using oral cholera vaccine during an outbreak, opened this week's meeting by saying that if the evidence warrants it, "we should not fail to miss short-term opportunities to save lives more quickly."


[link to www.npr.org]
Unity is the great goal toward which humanity moves irresistibly. But it becomes fatal, destructive of the intelligence, the dignity, the well-being of individuals and peoples whenever it is formed without regard to liberty, either by violent means or under the authority of any theological, metaphysical, political, or even economic idea. That patriotism which tends toward unity without regard to liberty is an evil patriotism, always disastrous to the popular and real interests of the country it claims to exalt and serve. Often, without wishing to be so, it is a friend of reaction – an enemy of the revolution, i.e., the emancipation of nations and men.
-Mikhail Bakunin-

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