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SADC Health Ministers Convene Extraordinary Virtual Meeting to Address Cholera Outbreaks

In response to the escalating cholera outbreak affecting multiple Member States in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), the Committee of Ministers of Health held a virtual Extraordinary meeting on January 27th, 2024. 

The meeting, chaired by Her Excellency Dr. Silvia Lutucuta, the Minister of Health of the Republic of Angola and Chairperson of the SADC Ministerial Committee of Health, aimed to assess the current situation and strategize on coordinated regional responses.

The virtual gathering brought together Health Ministers from SADC Member States who received comprehensive reports on the prevailing cholera situation, the state of preparedness across the region, and the measures being implemented to combat the outbreaks. 

The Ministers were briefed on the severity of the cholera crisis, including the rising number of cases and fatalities that have occurred since the first half of 2023.

Prior to the Ministerial meeting, senior health officials responsible for the region convened earlier in the day to discuss key issues related to the cholera outbreaks. 

The Ministers also benefited from technical support provided by international organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

The extraordinary meeting underscored the urgent need for a coordinated regional approach to address the cholera crisis, focusing on epidemic preparedness, prevention, control, and eradication of both communicable and non-communicable diseases. 

The collaborative effort seeks to pool resources and expertise to effectively curb the spread of cholera and mitigate its impact on affected communities.

As the SADC region unites against the cholera outbreak, the Ministerial Committee of Health emphasizes the importance of swift and decisive action to safeguard public health, minimize casualties, and prevent further escalation of the crisis. 

The virtual meeting concluded with a commitment to ongoing collaboration and the implementation of targeted interventions to bring the cholera situation under control in the region.

Source: SADC Secretariat

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