March 29, 2021News
Even under the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Health and WHO jointly advance for finalizing National Multi-sectoral Cholera Elimination Plan (NMCEP).
Kenya firstly reported cholera in 1971. Since then, Kenya experienced notable widespread cholera outbreaks, especially in 1997-1999, 2007-2010 and 2015-2020. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted on capacity to maintain essential health services and other public health activities like accelerating catch-up vaccination campaigns and strengthening WASH campaigns. Despite these circumstances, the Ministry of Health and WHO Country Office Kenya are working together to finalize the Kenya NMCEP with a goal of ending Cholera by 2030.
Cholera is recognized as one of the priority diseases under the Kenya’s third Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) guideline. Since the publication of “Ending Cholera: A Global Roadmap to 2030” in 2017, Kenya has proactively engaged in this agenda. During the 71st World Health Assembly in May 2018, Kenya supported the introduction of a resolution to implement cholera prevention and control Global Roadmap. In July 2018, Kenya held its 1st multisectoral meeting to align its implementation with the Global Roadmap by reviewing the implementation of previous National Cholera Control Plan and identifying best practices and challenges that hindered its implementation.
In late 2018, with support from the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC) and CDC, the Ministry of health identified key stakeholders that are required to successfully develop and implement a National Cholera Plan, developed a questionnaire and gathered baseline information from 30 counties. In 2019, the Ministry of health, with support from John Hopkins university and CDC, conducted a hotspot mapping, and clarified the prioritization of interventions.
Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the process for developing an elimination plan has been slowed down; however, in September 2020, the Ministry of Health and relevant line ministries, UN agencies and partners convened a workshop to accelerate this process, and the Ministry of Health has taken a lead in development of the draft NMCEP and submitted to the GTFCC.
In February 2021, Kenya requested a review of its Multisectoral National Cholera Plan by the GTFCC Independent Review Panel (IRP). Work is ongoing to incorporate the IRP recommendations into the specific key pillars of the NMCEP. Although Kenya has entered another lockdown due to a recent surge inCOVID-19 cases, the national Cholera technical working group will keep incorporating the feedback from the IRP to finalize the Plan and move further towards cholera elimination.
Dr Kazuki Shimizu
Dr Nollascus Ganda
Dr Joyce Kerubo Onsongo