Responding to cholera outbreaks
in the African region

The African region is experiencing high transmission of cholera, particularly in east and southern Africa. Since 2021, there have been recurrent and sometimes prolonged outbreaks that have affected 17 countries. Currently the main countries of concern are Zambia and Zimbabwe. Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Tanzania are also reporting active outbreaks.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Oral rehydration points at heart of cholera response in Lusaka, Zambia

Dr Fiona Braka, Emergency Operations Manager, WHO Regional Office for Africa. Cholera in Zambia

WHO provides support to cholera outbreak response in Zambia

Data for action shape Zambia's cholera outbreak response

WHO is working with countries to strengthen the key outbreak response areas. The Organization has provided cholera control supplies for treating cases, deployed experts to support emergency coordination, case management, surveillance, infection prevention and control, bolster water, sanitation and hygiene services as well as increase public awareness on the risks of the disease. In partnership with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and others, WHO is also supporting countries to effectively roll out the oral cholera vaccination campaigns.

Cholera is surging globally. While the triggers for cholera outbreaks such as poverty and conflict are enduring, today countries face a growing threat of climate change. Extreme climate events like floods, cyclones, droughts further reduce the access to clean water and create an ideal environment for cholera to thrive.