World Water Week: Humanitarian Capabilities in Cholera Response
Author: Liz Rigby
Over the past two years there has been a notable increase in cholera outbreaks and deaths. The greater number of countries experiencing cases, combined with an unusual geographical distribution of outbreaks and unacceptably high case fatality rates, has raised concerns about the capacity for cholera response and control.
It’s a stark reminder to us all of what a growing and real threat this is and how it’s impacting communities around the world. And it shows that by investing in safer water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure or preparedness, we can prevent more people from dying from an entirely preventable illness.
Next week is World Water Week and it provides the opportunity for subject matter experts, companies and civil society to come together to realise the gaps in capacity for cholera response and prevent more people from dying from an entirely preventable illness.
We’re proud to be participating at World Water Week this year. We will be leading thought-provoking and necessary discussions at our free webinar on Monday 21 August, 09.30 CEST and we will offer new insights and actionable recommendations for WASH actors worldwide.
Seeds of Change: Innovative Solutions for a Water-Wise World is this year’s theme for the global event and innovative solutions are something we deeply invest in. We have worked together with Humanitarian Outcomes to deliver new research that has raised concerns about the global capacity for cholera response and control, and whether some past progress has been lost.
Conducted in 2023, the report forms part of our rapid response initiative – a new humanitarian research programme with the aim of generating new data and insight to support responses to new or deteriorating humanitarian crises. This review is funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
The findings of the report, Slipping Away? A Review of Humanitarian Capabilities in Cholera Response, shows a rise in fatality rates over the past two years from cholera - a disease that experts agree “nobody should die from” and signals serious gaps in capacity for cholera response and control.
By investing in safer WASH infrastructure or preparedness, particularly the provision of basic interventions such as oral rehydration therapy (ORT) and crucial localised health programmes, we can prevent more people from dying from an entirely preventable illness.
Rapid funding and joined up coordination and action by the humanitarian sector is required to strengthen their role in cholera response and by realising the gaps in capacity, cholera has the potential to be eliminated, for good.
The free online session will involve a summary of the report findings, covering the complex causes behind the current increase in cholera deaths and actionable areas where the humanitarian sector can better coordinate and invest to prevent and respond to cholera outbreaks.
Online registration is now open. To sign up for UKHIH’s World Water Week free session on Monday 21 August, 09.30 CEST please follow this link: