Communiqué de presse

Medair responding to expanding cholera outbreaks

9 November 2022

Lucy Bamforth 

Medair scales up health, safe water, hygiene programming to prevent spread of deadly infection.

Lausanne, 09.11.2022 – Emergency relief and recovery organisation Medair continues to scale up its global humanitarian programming to respond to the global surge in cholera cases.  

“This is a very concerning situation,” says Wendy Dyment, Medair’s Global Health Advisor. “More than half of the countries where we currently work are experiencing cholera outbreaks. This potential deadly infection can spread quickly. Time is not on our side. This is why we are doing everything we can to respond where we are able.”  

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 29 countries have reported cholera outbreaks in 2022 alone. The WHO reports that of those countries, 13 did not report outbreaks in 2021, and fewer than 20 countries report cholera outbreaks in a typical year. 

Seven countries where Medair works are currently experiencing cholera outbreaks: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lebanon, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. In addition to ensuring that health clinics in cholera-affected areas are adequately equipped to treat cholera patients, Medair is providing additional training and information to health partners and affected communities about preventing the spread of cholera. Where possible, Medair has also run cholera vaccination campaigns and providing water treatment services at water collection points.  

“As an emergency response organisation, we are well placed to respond to health emergencies like this one as and when they happen. We are very concerned about the wellbeing of the people we serve, and will continue to act in order to provide support and save the most lives,” Wendy adds. 

Cholera, a virulent bacterial infection, is spread through contaminated water and can be deadly if left untreated. Many of the countries currently experiencing cholera outbreaks are affected by armed conflict and the climate emergency, which can contribute to limited access to safe drinking water, sanitation support, and adequate health care and vaccination services. The outbreaks come at a time when there is a global shortage of cholera vaccinations. 

Medair has extensive experience in responding to disease outbreaks: Medair previously responded to the Ebola epidemics in Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo, to measles and cholera outbreaks in South Sudan, and countless others. Provision of health care services and adequate safe drinking water and sanitation support in emergencies is a central tenant of the organisation’s mandate. 

Medair is an international humanitarian organisation that provides emergency relief and recovery services to families affected by conflict, natural disasters, and other crises. Medair currently works in Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Madagascar, Poland, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, and Yemen.


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Sue O’Connor 

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This content was produced with resources gathered by Medair field and headquarters staff. The views expressed herein are those solely of Medair and should not be taken, in any way, to reflect the official opinion of any other organisation.