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Southern Africa could carry out a cross border vaccination against cholera

Following an extraordinary meeting of the SADC Council of Ministers the evening before, next Friday, leaders will determine the measures to be taken in the current situation as well as sustainable policies and strategies to prevent and eradicate the disease in the region by 2030.

Angola's Health Minister, Sílvia Lutucuta, explained that the cholera outbreak has so far caused more than 1,600 deaths, mostly in Malawi and Zambia, in a context where vaccines are in short supply and for countries where the disease has been reported , still not enough.

Given this scenario, the recommendation adopted by the Council of Ministers is “to mobilize vaccines for affected and unaffected vulnerable countries such as Angola and to carry out synchronized cross-border vaccination to prevent this,” explained he must be defined by the heads of SADC.

Both health experts and foreign ministers agree that the situation requires a coordinated response mechanism as no country alone can face a disease that does not respect borders.

There have been no confirmed cases of cholera in Angola, but an alert has been issued to strengthen epidemiological and laboratory surveillance.

“We are paying attention to cases of acute diarrhea and vomiting, the main symptoms of cholera, not only at the border.” “We have triggered a nationwide alert,” Lutucuta told the press this Monday.

He added that as interim president of SADC, the country bears additional responsibility in this challenge and therefore encourages joint work.

He mentioned measures such as mobilizing resources through partners such as the United Nations and the Regional Committee of the World Health Organization, as well as early diagnosis and treatment of patients in affected countries.

He pointed out that one of the biggest challenges is community-based health promotion and vaccine mobilization for affected and vulnerable states such as Angola.