The Haitian Government presented on 27 February 2013, the National Plan for the Elimination of Cholera in Haiti, 2013–2022. This plan outlines a comprehensive set of actions for cholera prevention and control, including the deployment of oral cholera vaccine (OCV). During the period 2013–2015, OCV campaigns are planned for densely populated agglomerations in metropolitan areas and remote rural communities that are difficult to access. Epidemiological analysis defines the areas to target. On the medium and long terms (2016–2022), OCV may continue to be deployed leveraging its distribution to strengthen the provision of other measures of cholera control and prevention (such as reinforcing case management, surveillance, hygiene and health promotion, and services for water and sanitation) and national immunization services.
Initially, the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) wants to vaccinate 600,000 people living in areas at risk for cholera. In selected areas, everyone is eligible for vaccination, except for children aged <one year and pregnant women.
In a first phase scheduled for early April 2013, 80,000 eligible people living in the three municipalities of Lascahobas (Department of Centre), Petit Anse (Nord) and Perches (Nord-Est) will be targeted. The MSPP is covering all operational costs and UNICEF has provided 200,000 OCV doses. The MSPP is also leading the planning for the vaccine deployment, its comprehensive evaluation and social mobilization in cooperation with PAHO/WHO, UNICEF, US CDC, the Haitian Red Cross, and the non-governmental organizations Zanmi Lasante/Partners in Health and GHESKIO. An in-country meeting to evaluate the first phase and to advise further phases is scheduled for May 2013.
Contingent on availability of funds and OCV doses, 520,000 additional people should be vaccinated in September– October 2013. Additional phases could be carried in 2014 and thereafter also dependent on the evaluation results of those first two phases.
Published in Global Immunization Newsletter, March 2013.