Island-Wide Plan for the Elimination of Cholera from Hispaniola
On January 11th 2012 the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Atlanta, convened a range of donors to make a call for action for a cholera-free Hispaniola island.
In March 2012, delegations from the Haitian and Dominican Ministries of Health approved a route map for the Elimination of Cholera from the Island of Hispaniola, which will be translated into the preparation of an island-wide and decennial Cholera Elimination Plan (CEP).
The presidents of Haiti and the Dominican Republic took part via videoconferencing systems and expressed their support for jointly combating the cholera epidemic that has been affecting both nations since 2010. A similar meeting was held in Port-au-Prince and another in Santo Domingo, attended by high-level health authorities, members of the diplomatic corps, and international and non-governmental organisations. This call to action centres efforts for implementing essential interventions in water supply, sanitation and hygiene infrastructure, as well as supporting initiatives in the various health interventions in both countries.
Project duration: although a 10-year elimination target date has been set (taking into account what has happened in the continental territory of the Americas), it is thought that the initial activities should have clear aims over five years. At this point the project will be subject to a review and evaluation independent of the annual monitoring and evaluation of activities.
General Objective: To eliminate the presence of cholera from the island of Hispaniola in a maximum of ten years, through bi-national coordination and technical and financial support from the international cooperation sector.
General medium-term objective: To back response initiatives to the cholera epidemic in Hispaniola, to achieve a sustained reduction and eventual elimination of the epidemic in five years.
The CEP has strategic themes that will be translated into areas of intervention, according to the following details:
1. Basic water and sanitation;
2. Protection of health and life (health care services);
3. Health promotion.
4. Research and risk monitoring (epidemiological and laboratory testing);
One cross-cutting theme will be political Planning and Coordination, which will include an institutional strengthening component and monitoring and evaluation of the Plan at all levels (bi-national, national and local).
UNICEF has been providing direct support in the areas of basic Water and Sanitation and Health Promotion, divided into the following areas of work:
• Drinking water: access to safe water at community and household level, household water treatment, water source monitoring systems in public service buildings (schools, care centres for children and adolescents, health centres/hospitals, detention centres, etc.)
• Sanitation: access to improved sanitation and community and household level, satisfactory transport and/or treatment systems for waste water and grey water, promotion of the total sanitation principles (reduction, reuse and recycling of waste water).
• Health promotion: social mobilisation, advocacy and communication/education on satisfactory prevention measures and improved water and food handling and hygiene behaviours and practices.