Kathmandu, Nepal (April 10, 2017):
Nepal is a cholera prone country with frequent cholera outbreaks in different parts of the country. Several people have been affected from this killer disease and hundreds have lost their lives in the past. It has remained a significant public health problem.
The Epidemiology and Disease Control Division launched a new five-year National Preparedness and Response Plan for Acute Gastroenteritis / Cholera outbreaks in Nepal. This is a guiding document for the government and partners to prevent and control cholera outbreaks in the coming days. This document outlines the current cholera situation in Nepal and knowledge surrounding interventions that are relevant in the Nepali context. An in-depth analysis has been included to shed light on the current strengths and weaknesses as well as opportunities for program improvement and threats to its success to control cholera in Nepal. The plan was developed in a participatory way in consultation with all the relevant stakeholders (Government organizations– National Public Health Laboratory, Child Health Division, Logistic Management Division, Department of Water Supply and Sewerage, Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Disease Hospital, Birendra Army Hospital and Non-governmental organizations: WHO, UNICEF, Johns Hopkins University, Group for Technical Assistance, all sentinel hospitals and NGOs working on WASH).
The main objective of this plan is to improve the overall health status of Nepal by reducing the incidence of cholera throughout the country. Specifically, this plan will aim to prevent the spread of cholera, to reduce mortality from cholera, to ensure a coordinated and collaborative response to cholera outbreaks, and to ensure that a rapid response mechanism is in place in order to successfully stop the spread of disease. Many lives will be saved with the implementation of this national plan throughout the country.
It is assumed that all humanitarian organizations involved in cholera response in Nepal will contribute to the outlined emergency stockpiles and follow this detailed plan. Moreover, it is hoped that this document will serve as more than just a government action plan, but also as a resource at all levels of the cholera response and for all relevant stakeholders.
Dr. Bhim Acharya