Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Welcome to the 3rd issue of Cholera Network News, affectionately known as "CNN", the Newsletter of the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC).
It has been almost one year since the last issue (June 2015) and so much has happened within the GTFCC that it will be challenging to condense it in one newsletter. For this reason in this issue we will focus mainly (but not only) on the updates regarding the different domains of the GTFCC Working Groups and on our progress towards providing evidence based recommendations for the implementation of cholera control.
The first Working Group on Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) was the first one to meet after the 2nd issue was published, in September 2015 at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore to further define strategies to use the vaccine in different settings. The working group validated the two technical notes on OCV for travellers and pregnant women, is continuing its work on streamlining procedures for the allocation of vaccines in non-emergency situations, and is editing the OCV Chapter of the Cholera Toolkit.
Still on the vaccination domain, the GTFCC facilitated an ad-hoc meeting in December 2015 in Geneva specifically to define the agenda for monitoring and evaluation of OCV programmes in preparation for the post-2017 GAVI investment case.
In parallel, we have continued our work on cholera surveillance procedures, with three meetings organised under the broad surveillance theme. In November 2015, the WG on Surveillance/Epidemiology met for the first time, at AMP in Ferney Voltaire, to agree on procedures for cholera surveillance; while the one on Surveillance/Laboratory met for the second time, at THSTI in Faridabad, to continue the work towards providing recommendations on the use of rapid diagnostic tests and molecular typing techniques. In April 2016, time was ripe for both surveillance WGs to meet and review and validate their common agenda of work. A joint meeting of the Epidemiology and Laboratory WGs was hosted by Save The Children in London (what better place to tackle cholera surveillance than the city where John Snow started it all?) to advance on a homogeneous approach with regards to cholera surveillance, from detection to monitoring, in order to guide control measures.
Also, in March 2016, we had the first meeting of the Case Management WG at icddr,b (without any doubts the most appropriate venue in the world to agree on recommendations about treating cholera) to review procedures concerning cholera case management at all levels, infection control practices, and the use of antibiotics, oral rehydration and intravenous solutions, and zinc, among other topics.
In addition, you will also find in this issue the usual updates on the global cholera outbreak situation since the previous CNN was issued (15 countries have responded to major cholera outbreaks, in most cases with the help of GTFCC or GOARN partners) and on the use of OCV (vaccination campaigns were organised in Tanzania, Cameroon, South Sudan, Iraq, Niger, Malawi, and Zambia by the respective Ministries of Health with the support of many GTFCC partners; and icddr,b conducted a clinical study in Bangladesh as part of the Gavi Learning Agenda)
Finally, we provide an overview of the most recent scientific publications and news articles on cholera control; and we end the newsletter on a light tone presenting all the social media endeavours that the GTFCC Secretariat is launching with the aim to facilitate connections within the network and beyond.
Enjoy your read!
The GTFCC Secretariat
PS: feel free to contact the GTFCC Secretariat if you wish to present any activity that may be of interest to the rest of the network in the next edition of CNN.
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