Implementation of targeted cholera response activities, Cameroon.

Jean Patrick Ouamba Nicole Fouda Mbarga Iza Ciglenecki Ruwan Ratnayake Dora Tchiasso Flavio Finger et al.
Bull World Health Organ v.101(3); 2023 Mar 2023 Jan 18. doi: 10.2471/BLT.22.288885


OBJECTIVE: To describe the implementation of case-area targeted interventions to reduce cholera transmission using a rapid, localized response in Kribi district, Cameroon.

METHODS: We used a cross-sectional design to study the implementation of case-area targeted interventions. We initiated interventions after rapid diagnostic test confirmation of a case of cholera. We targeted households within a 100–250 metre perimeter around the index case (spatial targeting). The interventions package included: health promotion, oral cholera vaccination, antibiotic chemoprophylaxis for nonimmunized direct contacts, point-of-use water treatment and active case-finding.

FINDINGS: We implemented eight targeted intervention packages in four health areas of Kribi between 17 September 2020 and 16 October 2020. We visited 1533 households (range: 7–544 per case-area) hosting 5877 individuals (range: 7–1687 per case-area). The average time from detection of the index case to implementation of interventions was 3.4 days (range: 1–7). Oral cholera vaccination increased overall immunization coverage in Kribi from 49.2% (2771/5621 people) to 79.3% (4456/5621 people). Interventions also led to the detection and prompt management of eight suspected cases of cholera, five of whom had severe dehydration. Stool culture was positive for Vibrio cholerae O1 in four cases. The average time from onset of symptoms to admission of a person with cholera to a health facility was 1.2 days.

CONCLUSION: Despite challenges, we successfully implemented targeted interventions at the tail-end of a cholera epidemic, after which no further cases were reported in Kribi up until week 49 of 2021. The effectiveness of case-area targeted interventions in stopping or reducing cholera transmission needs further investigation.