A Successful Response to an Outbreak of Cholera in Afghanistan

Journal Article
  • Faizullah Kakar, Abdul Hamid Ahmadzai, Najibullah Habib, Asadullah Taqdeer, A Frederick Hartman
Tropical Doctor
January 2008, 38

Although postconflict Afghanistan has some of the worst health indicators in the world, the government is working hard to rebuild the health infrastructure, extend services to underserved areas and improve the quality of health services. An outbreakof cholera ElT or O1 that struck Kabul and spread nationwide in 2005, prompted a collaborative response from the Afghan Ministry of Public Health, partner agencies, and the system established to provide the Basic Package of Health Services, of which diarrhoeal disease control is an essential component. This response illustrates that, with good preparation, it is possible to respond to an outbreak of cholera effectively.The very low mortality rate during the outbreak (0.1%) shows how a resource-poor country can succeed in providing high-quality health services with government commitment, coordinated action by partners, proper case management and treatment and expanded access to services.