The Democratic Republic of Congo takes decisive action by unveiling cholera elimination plan to support local communities

October 26, 2023


The Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC) celebrates the launch of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s revised Multisectoral Cholera Elimination Plan (PMSEC)

The Ministry of Planning, which chairs the Steering Committee of the National Coordination of Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (CNAEHA), in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health, Hygiene and Prevention, approved the country’s Multisectoral Cholera Elimination Plan (PMSEC) after a review process led by its partners and other stakeholders, including representatives of government and academic institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies, private sector donors and representatives of civil society.

This ambitious plan mobilizes more than 22 key ministries and specifies their contributions to ensure the elimination of the disease. Its implementation requires sustained political commitment and effective coordination of actions between ministries, an essential condition for achieving the effective elimination of cholera.

The adoption of the PMSEC comes at a critical time, with more than 41,000 cholera cases reported throughout the country between January to September 2023, while the death toll stands at 369. The International Coordination Group (ICG) on the supply of vaccines enabled the DRC to obtain a substantial allocation of doses of oral cholera vaccine for its reactive vaccination campaign, which will cover 15 districts in these four provinces in 2023, thus highlighting the importance of a collective effort towards the elimination of this potentially fatal disease.

In November 2022, CNAEHA, the Ministry of Health, the National Program for the Elimination of Cholera and the Control of Other Diarrheal Diseases (PNECHOL-MD), and other stakeholders convened for a technical validation workshop in Kinshasa to assess and evaluate the fourth PMSEC, as well as to hear from national-level leaders and implementers. The endorsed fifth PMSEC has a total budget of USD 192M allocated to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) conditions, to lower disease transmission within affected local communities. The plan also includes emergency interventions in cholera-affected areas, notably the province of North Kivu which is experiencing chronic insecurity and displacement, preventive vaccination, and investment for operational research to drive evidence-based solutions for effective cholera prevention and control.

Dr. Placide Welo, Director, PNECHOL-MD stressed the pivotal role of Water, Hygiene, and Sanitation (WASH) not only in eradicating cholera but also in controlling other diarrheal diseases. “We draw inspiration from the collective resolve of our DRC cholera partners and the collaborative strength of our multi-sectoral approach. As we applaud the steadfast commitment of the government, we remain unwavering in our determination to mobilize resources and foster coordination across sectors. Our priority is to strengthen WASH, and we call upon our partners to increase investments towards the PMSEC, paving the way towards a healthier and more resilient DRC.”

Following the presentations, Steering Committee members engaged in a dialogue with the representatives before formally validating the PMSEC. Partners that were present for the validation included the GTFCC Country Support Platform (CSP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), PATH, UNICEF, and others.

“The launch of the PMSEC marks a change in dimension in the implementation of the cholera control program in the DRC”, said Dr. Philippe Barboza, Head of the GTFCC Secretariat and Team Lead for the Cholera and Epidemic Diarrheal Diseases, at the World Health Organization (WHO). “This PMSEC clearly sets out the multi-sector strategy on which the mobilization of partners is based. This plan allows the government to target priority areas and activities and donors to support this effort by investing financially in activities that will have the greatest impact not only on the reduction of mortality but also on prevention and sustainable control of cholera in the most vulnerable areas and communities in the country.”

The GTFCC supported the DRC in its efforts to control and prevent cholera, in particular through the GTFCC CSP, present throughout the Congolese territory. The GTFCC CSP – hosted by the IFRC – provided multi-sectoral operational support in the DRC, which includes assistance in policy, advocacy, coordination and resource mobilization.

About the GTFCC and the CSP

The GTFCC is a partnership of more than 50 institutions, including NGOs, academic institutions, and UN agencies. It gathers organizations working across different sectors through a platform to support countries in the implementation of the GTFCC’s Ending Cholera by 2030 Global Roadmap (“the Roadmap”), a shared global strategy to achieve a 90% reduction in cholera deaths and cholera elimination in 20 countries by 2030.

The CSP – hosted by the IFRC – serves as the GTFCC’s operational arm. It is an integral part of the GTFCC structure and provides resources and multisectoral support to cholera-affected countries, including global technical expertise and country level support through its Programme Managers, in the development and implementation of National Cholera Plans. These endeavors are aligned with and contribute to the overarching goals of the GTFCC’s global roadmap for cholera control.

For more information contact:

GTFCC Secretariat focal point
Dr João Rangel de Almeida, WHO Technical Officer

GTFCC Country Support Platform
Jayanthi Palani, CSP Resource Mobilization & Advocacy Senior Officer