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AMP Receives Grant From the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Support Cholera Surveillance in Africa
Date:1/14/2010

PARIS, January 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The Agence de Medecine Preventive (AMP) has received a three-year grant of $4.9 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to create a consortium supporting cholera prevention and control in Africa.

AMP and the African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET) will be the core members of the consortium, which will include several other leading health organizations from around the world. The consortium will establish an African Cholera Surveillance Network (AFRICHOL) to strengthen cholera surveillance and outbreak response in at least eight African countries.

Cholera is an acute, diarrheal disease that can cause death if untreated. Transmission occurs primarily through ingesting contaminated food or water. Although the incidence of the illness has declined dramatically in most parts of the world, outbreaks continue to occur with alarming frequency in Africa. The continent accounts for more than 90% of reported cases worldwide, approximately 15% of which result in mortality. The prevalence of the disease is largely attributed to the region's poor water and sanitation facilities, large-scale population displacement, and weak health services.

The provision of safe water and the establishment of sanitation systems constitute the best long-term strategy to prevent cholera. However, these interventions cannot be fully implemented in the near future in most cholera-endemic areas. In these settings, new-generation vaccines offer the greatest potential to control the disease in the medium term.

To determine if cholera vaccination is suitable for a given population, accurate data on disease burden is needed. Yet, due to poor surveillance systems and frequent under-reporting, the
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SOURCE Agence de Medecine Preventive (AMP)
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