The case-area targeted rapid response strategy to control cholera in Haiti: a four-year implementation study

Stanislas Rebaudet, Gregory Bulit, Jean Gaudart, Edwige Michel, Pierre Gazin, Claudia Evers, Samuel Beaulieu, Aaron Aruna Abedi, Lindsay Osei, Robert Barrais, Katilla Pierre, Sandra Moore (+6 others)
2019 PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases  
In October 2010, Haiti was struck by a large-scale cholera epidemic. The Haitian government, UNICEF and other international partners launched an unprecedented nationwide alert-response strategy in July 2013. Coordinated NGOs recruited local rapid response mobile teams to conduct case-area targeted interventions (CATIs), including education sessions, household decontamination by chlorine spraying, and distribution of chlorine tablets. An innovative red-orange-green alert system was also
more » ... m was also established to monitor the epidemic at the communal scale on a weekly basis. Our study aimed to describe and evaluate the exhaustiveness, intensity and quality of the CATIs in response to cholera alerts in Haiti between 1.85 [1.73-1.99]). Over the course of the eight-semester study, we observed a significant improvement in the exhaustiveness (aOR, 1.43 [1.38-1.48] per semester) as well as the intensity and quality (aIR, 1.23 [1.2-1.25] per semester) of CATI responses, independently of funds available for the strategy. The odds of launching a CATI response significantly decreased with increased rainfall (aOR, 0.99 [0.97-1] per each accumulated cm). Response interventions were significantly heterogeneous between NGOs, communes and departments. Conclusions/significance The implementation of a nationwide case-area targeted rapid response strategy to control cholera in Haiti was feasible albeit with certain obstacles. Such feedback from the field and ongoing impact studies will be very informative for actors and international donors involved in cholera control and elimination in Haiti and in other affected countries. Author summary Cholera is a potentially deadly diarrheal disease caused by toxin-secreting strains of Vibrio cholerae. The bacterium can trigger severe epidemics in countries with limited access to potable water and sanitation. Hygiene promotion, proper sanitation and improved access to safe drinking water are essential to control cholera. However, very few reports have described and evaluated the implementation of such activities in the field. Since October 2010, Haiti has been affected by one of the most severe cholera epidemics of the past few decades. In this report, we describe and evaluate the implementation of the original nationwide case-area targeted interventions (CATIs) response strategy, which was launched in July 2013 after years of insufficient response coordination and diminishing efforts to control cholera outbreaks in affected communities. Rapid implementation of education sessions, household decontamination, soap distribution and water chlorination in affected communities proved challenging but possible, even in a mountainous and decentralized country such as Haiti with tens of thousands of suspected cholera cases per year. Evaluation of the impact of the CATI-based strategy on the cholera epidemic is underway. Together with other components of a multi-sectoral approach, this rapid response strategy appears to be critical to eventually eliminate cholera in Haiti. Public Health and Population (EM, RB, KP, JB, PA and FDG): To implement the alert-response strategy to control cholera in Haiti, MSPP received material and financial support from UNICEF-Haiti. This study aimed to present and assess this strategy. Some UNICEF-Haiti staff played a role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, and preparation of the manuscript. For authors who were temporally contracted by UNICEF-Haiti (AAA, LO and RB): In accordance with their respective institutions, these four authors were contracted during a few months by UNICEF-Haiti as external consultants to perform prospective epidemiological analysis and evaluation of the alert-response strategy to control
doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0007263 fatcat:snt3v2tqrvfb3h4laoqe3lskzy