UNICEF distribution of jerrycans of clean water in Yemen to help prevent cholera

Early Action for Cholera (EACH)

The aim of the EACH project is to understand how forecasts and cholera risk information (based on their use in Yemen) can be used to bring cholera prevention and control activities forward, allowing responders to get ahead of the epidemic curve. 

Yemen has been experiencing one of the worst cholera epidemics of modern times. In April 2018, UNICEF and partners started to receive cholera risk information from the University of Florida’s Cholera Risk Model (CRM) and rainfall forecasts from the Met Office (funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office). These were used to help  prioritise where cholera interventions needed to be intensified. 

A significant drop in cholera cases was observed in Yemen during 2018. For example, during one week in 2018, there were 2,500 cases, compared to 50,000 during the same week in 2017. The drop in cases was attributed anecdotally by UNICEF to the forecast based early intervention actions they had been taking, using the information delivered through the EACH project.

The EACH project has explored how the CRM and forecasts were used to inform decision making and as well as undertaking assessments of the accuracy of these tools.  It has made recommendations on how they should be used Yemen and elsewhere with the aim of illustrating the potential for risk information to impact the course of an epidemic and reduce the suffering caused by cholera. 

A summary of the Yemen Case Study can be seen here with the full case study available here.

Image credit: UNICEF

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