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WHO Links Escalating Worldwide Cholera Outbreaks to Climate Crisis

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world health organization

Cholera outbreaks around the world are deeply linked to the climate catastrophe, according to a World Health Organisation (WHO) official speaking during a meeting of a key vaccination advisory panel.

Dr. Kate O’Brien, the World Health Organization’s director of immunization, vaccines, and biologicals, spoke during a press conference hosted by the organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization.

“I think we do have to acknowledge the cholera outbreaks that are ongoing are deeply linked to climate change in emergency situations, conflict situations, and we have raised the alarm on cholera. It’s not only about vaccines certainly, it’s not the first line of defense for cholera. Cholera is a disease around clean water and clean sanitation. And vaccines are a method to prevent disease when it’s around.” said O’Brien.

She stated that immunization programs have demonstrated that disease resilience is crucial to react to emerging infections, “particularly pathogens such as COVID disease, which we have all recently experienced.”

She stated that the SAGE group had recently previewed novel tuberculosis vaccinations and that multiple TB vaccines are currently in development to prevent adolescent and adult disease.

“TB is one of the most impactful diseases that takes the lives of people around the world. Over 1.3 million people died of tuberculosis in 2022, with over 10 million falling ill from tuberculosis.”

She also stated that the most significant barrier to accessing vaccines is not deception, which was prominent during the peak of COVID, but the availability of such drugs in some places.

“I think we saw in a very poignant way in the COVID pandemic that the availability of vaccines and access to vaccines alone is not sufficient. There really does need to be community demand, family demand, and individual demand for the vaccines so that people go and get what is available to them”. She said.

Also Read: Mary Waceke: Meet the Kenyan Woman Who Rose to Success In Analytics at Apple Inc

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