• Risk factors for cholera transmission in Haiti during inter-peak periods: insights to improve current control strategies from two case-control studies

      Grandesso, F; Allan, M; Jean-Simon, P S J; Boncy, J; Blake, A; Pierre, R; Alberti, K P; Munger, A; Elder, G; Olson, D; et al. (Cambridge University Press, 2013-10-11)
      SUMMARY Two community-based density case-control studies were performed to assess risk factors for cholera transmission during inter-peak periods of the ongoing epidemic in two Haitian urban settings, Gonaives and Carrefour. The strongest associations were: close contact with cholera patients (sharing latrines, visiting cholera patients, helping someone with diarrhoea), eating food from street vendors and washing dishes with untreated water. Protective factors were: drinking chlorinated water, receiving prevention messages via television, church or training sessions, and high household socioeconomic level. These findings suggest that, in addition to contaminated water, factors related to direct and indirect inter-human contact play an important role in cholera transmission during inter-peak periods. In order to reduce cholera transmission in Haiti intensive preventive measures such as hygiene promotion and awareness campaigns should be implemented during inter-peak lulls, when prevention activities are typically scaled back.
    • Safe Water for the Aral Sea Area: Could it get Any Worse?

      Small, I; Falzon, D; van der Meer, J; Ford, N; Médecins Sans Frontières, Aral Sea Programme, Tashkent, Uzbekistan. (Published by Oxford University Press, 2003-03)
      The environmental adversities around the Aral Sea in Central Asia have been the subject of recent research. Attempts at sustainable provision of palatable drinking water in low chemical and microbial contaminants for the 4 million people in the two countries around the Aral littoral have been largely unsuccessful. In the last few years, severe drought has further depleted the amount of available water. This shortage has negatively impacted on agriculture, and accentuated the out migration of people. An appeal is made to assist the local population in this arid area to cope with the acute and chronic deterioration of water security.
    • Setting priorities for humanitarian water, sanitation and hygiene research: a meeting report

      D’Mello-Guyett, L; Yates, T; Bastable, A; Dahab, M; Deola, C; Dorea, C; Dreibelbis, R; Grieve, T; Handzel, T; Harmer, A; et al. (BioMed Central, 2018-06-15)
    • Successive epidemic waves of cholera in South Sudan between 2014 and 2017: a descriptive epidemiological study

      Jones, FK; Wamala, JF; Rumunu, J; Mawien, PN; Kol, MT; Wohl, S; Deng, L; Pezzoli, L; Omar, LH; Lessler, J; et al. (Elsevier, 2020-12-01)
      Background Between 2014 and 2017, successive cholera epidemics occurred in South Sudan within the context of civil war, population displacement, flooding, and drought. We aim to describe the spatiotemporal and molecular features of the three distinct epidemic waves and explore the role of vaccination campaigns, precipitation, and population movement in shaping cholera spread in this complex setting. Methods In this descriptive epidemiological study, we analysed cholera linelist data to describe the spatiotemporal progression of the epidemics. We placed whole-genome sequence data from pandemic Vibrio cholerae collected throughout these epidemics into the global phylogenetic context. Using whole-genome sequence data in combination with other molecular attributes, we characterise the relatedness of strains circulating in each wave and the region. We investigated the association of rainfall and the instantaneous basic reproduction number using distributed lag non-linear models, compared county-level attack rates between those with early and late reactive vaccination campaigns, and explored the consistency of the spatial patterns of displacement and suspected cholera case reports. Findings The 2014 (6389 cases) and 2015 (1818 cases) cholera epidemics in South Sudan remained spatially limited whereas the 2016–17 epidemic (20 438 cases) spread among settlements along the Nile river. Initial cases of each epidemic were reported in or around Juba soon after the start of the rainy season, but we found no evidence that rainfall modulated transmission during each epidemic. All isolates analysed had similar genotypic and phenotypic characteristics, closely related to sequences from Uganda and Democratic Republic of the Congo. Large-scale population movements between counties of South Sudan with cholera outbreaks were consistent with the spatial distribution of cases. 21 of 26 vaccination campaigns occurred during or after the county-level epidemic peak. Counties vaccinated on or after the peak incidence week had 2·2 times (95% CI 2·1–2·3) higher attack rates than those where vaccination occurred before the peak. Interpretation Pandemic V cholerae of the same clonal origin was isolated throughout the study period despite interepidemic periods of no reported cases. Although the complex emergency in South Sudan probably shaped some of the observed spatial and temporal patterns of cases, the full scope of transmission determinants remains unclear. Timely and well targeted use of vaccines can reduce the burden of cholera; however, rapid vaccine deployment in complex emergencies remains challenging.
    • A tale of two cities: restoring water services in Kabul and Monrovia

      Pinera, J-F; Reed, R A; Médecins Sans Frontières, Amsterdam, Netherlands; Water Engineering and Development Centre, Loughborough University, United Kingdom (2009-01-12)
      Kabul and Monrovia, the respective capitals of Afghanistan and Liberia, have recently emerged from long-lasting armed conflicts. In both cities, a large number of organisations took part in emergency water supply provision and later in the rehabilitation of water systems. Based on field research, this paper establishes a parallel between the operations carried out in the two settings, highlighting similarities and analysing the two most common strategies. The first strategy involves international financial institutions, which fund large-scale projects focusing on infrastructural rehabilitation and on the institutional development of the water utility, sometimes envisaging private-sector participation. The second strategy involves humanitarian agencies, which run community-based projects, in most cases independently of the water utilities, and targeting low-income areas. Neither of these approaches manages to combine sustainability and universal service. The paper assesses their respective strengths and weaknesses and suggests ways of improving the quality of assistance provided.
    • Uptake of household disinfection kits as an additional measure in response to a cholera outbreak in urban areas of Haiti

      Gartley, M; Valeh, P; de Lange, R; DiCarlo, S; Viscusi, A; Lenglet, A; Fesselet, J F (IWA Publishing, 2013-12)
      Médecins Sans Frontières-Operational Centre Amsterdam piloted the distribution of household disinfection kits (HDKs) and health promotion sessions for cholera prevention in households of patients admitted to their cholera treatment centres in Carrefour, Port au Prince, Haiti, between December 2010 and February 2011. We conducted a follow-up survey with 208 recipient households to determine the uptake and use of the kits and understanding of the health promotion messages. In 61% of surveyed households, a caregiver had been the recipient of the HDK and 57.7% of households had received the HDKs after the discharge of the patient. Among surveyed households, 97.6% stated they had used the contents of the HDK after receiving it, with 75% of these reporting using five or more items, with the two most popular items being chlorine and soap. A significant (p < 0.05) increase in self-reported use items in the HDK was observed in households that received kits after 24 January 2011 when the education messages were strengthened. To our knowledge, this is the first time it has been demonstrated that during a large-scale cholera outbreak, the distribution of simple kits, with readily available cleaning products and materials, combined with health promotion is easy, feasible, and valued by the target population.
    • Using Lot Quality Assurance Sampling to Assess Access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Services in a Refugee Camp Setting in South Sudan: A Feasibility Study

      Harding, E; Beckworth, C; Fesselet, J; Lenglet, A; Lako, R; Valadez, J (BioMed Central, 2017-08-08)
      Humanitarian agencies working in refugee camp settings require rapid assessment methods to measure the needs of the populations they serve. Due to the high level of dependency of refugees, agencies need to carry out these assessments. Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) is a method commonly used in development settings to assess populations living in a project catchment area to identify their greatest needs. LQAS could be well suited to serve the needs of refugee populations, but it has rarely been used in humanitarian settings. We adapted and implemented an LQAS survey design in Batil refugee camp, South Sudan in May 2013 to measure the added value of using it for sub-camp level assessment.