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May 06, 2016

The largest cholera vaccination campaign ever undertaken has just commenced in Zambia’s capital, Lusaka. Over half a million people are expected to receive the oral cholera vaccine in an effort to curb an outbreak that began in February in the city’s overcrowded township areas. As of April 7, a total of 664 cases and 12 deaths had been reported in Lusaka.

The Executive Board of UNITAID, the international health financing agency, will meet Dec. 14-15 in Geneva to decide on the future direction of the Patent Pool for AIDS medicines. International medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is concerned that a number of pharmaceutical companies are seeking to exclude developing countries categorized as ‘middle-income’ from benefiting from medicines made under licence from the Pool.  If these companies are successful, people living with HIV/AIDS will be made to pay the price.

In Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is responding to the worst cholera outbreaks in the country for many years. Over the last five weeks the number of cholera cases has risen dramatically to more than 4,500, while more than 120 people have lost their lives. Despite hopes that the outbreak has reached its peak the previous week and that the number of cholera cases will start decreasing, heavy rains that continue to cause severe floods in the city could potentially worsen the situation in the coming weeks.

Doctor, psychologist and nurse will travel to affected and isolated areas.

Neglect can be overcome and millions of lives can be saved.