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healthcareNovember 7, 2022

Lebanese authorities launch national vaccination campaign against cholera

Beirut, Nov 6 (Petra) -- The Lebanese Health Ministry Sunday said it is starting a national a vaccination campaign against cholera to protect its population and and limit the spread of the epidemic in agricultural areas.

Health Minister Firas Abyad said during a tour of the centres that treat cholera patients that the tour aims to launch a cholera vaccine campaign to protect the people of Lebanon and limit the spread of the epidemic in rural areas dependent on agricultural exports and tourism.

Abyad added that the campaign would start next Saturday after the arrival of 600,000 doses of cholera vaccine, noting that food security is a priority for Lebanon and it is important to limit the spread of cholera.

He said, 'The campaign aims to cover more Syrian refugees and Lebanese citizens within a short period of time and administer 600,000 vaccines within three weeks, and within a week, we would have established herd immunity,' calling for concerted efforts of the Ministry of Health, international organisations and NGOs.

On Saturday, World Health Organisation (WHO) announced its need for USD10.2 million for health-related response in the face of the ongoing cholera outbreak in Lebanon.

WHO said in a statement that Lebanon had reported 2,421 suspected cholera cases, including 413 confirmed ones and 18 deaths.

The representative of the organisation in Beirut, Abdel Nasser Abu Bakr, warned that 'the risk of cholera is doubling in Lebanon due to the long-standing economic conditions and the scarcity of clean water and adequate sanitation services throughout the country.'

In October, the Lebanese government reported the first cholera case in the country in nearly thirty years, explaining that the infected was a Syrian in a refugee camp.