A Cameroon five-day campaign to complete cholera vaccination for over 800,000 Cameroonians concludes today.
In late October, health officials in the West African country reported an outbreak of cholera in Cameroon’s South-West region. According to the country’s health minister the bacterial disease has since infected nearly 5,000 people in six of Cameroon’s ten regions and has killed at least 105, at a case fatality rate of approximately 2.3%.
The disease’s spread comes amid an ongoing armed conflict between Cameroon’s military and separatist forces in the Anglophone North-West and South-West.
As Cameroon’s cholera outbreak originated within a separatist region currently undergoing nearly five years of civil war, the vaccination campaign is likely to have only limited success. Given the hostilities and the government’s disposition against regional leadership in revolt, efforts have focused on vaccinating individuals in areas where government forces have firmer control. Moreover, in light of the correlation between war and the spread of disease, anticipate efforts to stymie Cameroon’s cholera outbreak will fall flat until hostilities in the South-West cease. However, increased attention from international health groups, like the World Health Organization, may motivate and enable the government to pursue vaccination efforts in other combat-impacted areas, such as the West and Littoral regions.
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Nick is the Director of the Daily Brief and a contributing Senior Analyst to it. An attorney, his areas of expertise include international law, international and domestic criminal law, security affairs in Europe and the Middle East, and human rights.