Old disease, new threat: driving an end to cholera

Image: WaterAid/ Chileshe Chanda

Cholera is a disease of inequality. It is an indicator of poor living conditions often lacking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), disproportionately affecting communities living with the greatest poverty and marginalisation. The continued presence of this acute diarrhoeal disease in the 21st century is a stark reminder of the huge inequalities that persist globally between and within countries around access to WASH.

In Old disease, new threat, completed in February 2020, we analyse the extent to which existing and new plans in 13 cholera-affected countries where we work are driving a multi-sectoral approach to end cholera. We focus on two aspects: the enabling environment necessary to support a cross-sectoral approach between health, WASH and other sectors; and the degree to which improvements in long-term sustainable WASH services are prioritised and integrated into other cholera control interventions.

Hand hygiene, a first line of defence against coronavirus, has always been critical to prevention of cholera and other diseases. As the world confronts the COVID-19 pandemic, the response must include no regrets actions for WASH, to build resilience to health crises and leave no one behind.

Read our report to understand progress made at a national level in high-burden countries towards the translation of the global roadmap to end cholera by 2030, and our recommendations for priority actions.

Our short film introduces the report: