The Global Burden of Cholera: Prevention Strategies, Treatment and Health
Cholera, a global burden which has caused untold suffering to millions of people around the world, is a treatable bacterial infection. It is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, which can be transmitted through contaminated food and drinking water, and is a major cause of death in regions of the world that lack adequate sanitation and access to quality healthcare. In countries where there is no access to uncontaminated water, cholera can remain endemic, meaning outbreaks can occur frequently, leading to immense suffering, sickness, and death. It is a preventable and treatable disease, yet it remains a major global burden on individuals, families, and society more than two centuries since it was first described.
Cholera Prevention Strategies
The effective prevention and control of cholera relies on the implementation of several evidence-based preventive strategies. These include access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation, such as the installation of public toilets, latrines, and hand-washing facilities. Furthermore, strengthening health care systems and promoting health education on cholera prevention are key strategies in tackling the global burden of cholera.
Cholera Treatment and Health
Cholera can be treated easily if detected early. Oral rehydration therapy is effective in treating most cholera cases. This treatment involves drinking a solution of salts, sugar and water, which will replace salts and minerals lost through diarrhoea. Antibiotics can also be prescribed for those infected by cholera.
The threat of cholera is real and countries should have a national cholera preparedness and response plan as well as integrated disease surveillance systems in place. Medical professionals and public health workers have a responsibility to serve those most in need and provide access to medical care and preventive measures.
Though cholera continues to be an issue that needs to be addressed, with proper interventions, the global burden of cholera can be reduced. With the implementation of proper preventive measures and effective treatments, each and every person can do their part to create a better future.