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About The Cholera


Recently, UNICEF said that since 2017, a spike in conflict and displacement in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is pushing children into the worst cholera crisis.


GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About Cholera
  2. Key Facts about UNICEF

About Cholera

  • Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae.
  • It is a global health threat and serves as an indicator of inadequate social development and public health measures.
  • Cholera is characterized by its extreme virulence and can lead to severe acute watery diarrhea.
  • Other symptoms include profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps.
Rapid Spread:
  • The disease can spread rapidly, particularly in areas with insufficient sewage and inadequate drinking water treatment.
  • Lack of proper sanitation and hygiene contribute to the rapid transmission of cholera.
  • In efforts to control and prevent cholera, three oral cholera vaccines (OCV) have been pre-qualified by the World Health Organization (WHO): Dukoral, Shanchol, and Euvichol-Plus.
  • These vaccines require a two-dose regimen to provide full protection.
Impact and Importance:
  • Cholera outbreaks can have devastating effects on communities, leading to illness and even death.
  • The disease’s prevalence can reflect societal disparities and the lack of access to clean water, sanitation, and healthcare.
Prevention and Control:
  • Preventing cholera requires a multi-pronged approach that includes improving water and sanitation infrastructure, promoting hygiene practices, and providing access to vaccines in high-risk areas.
Global Significance:
  • Cholera remains a global health concern, emphasizing the need for continued efforts in disease surveillance, early detection, and rapid response to outbreaks.

Key Facts about UNICEF

  • UNICEF stands for the United Nations Children’s Fund.
  • Mission: UNICEF is a specialized agency of the United Nations focused on providing humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.
  • Establishment: It was established in 1946, shortly after World War II, with the goal of addressing the needs of children affected by the war.
  • Headquarters: The organization’s headquarters is located in New York City, United States.
  • Global Reach: UNICEF operates in over 190 countries and territories across the world, making it one of the largest and most widespread international organizations.
Focus Areas:
  • UNICEF is committed to ensuring that every child, regardless of their background or location, has access to fundamental rights and services.
  • It works to provide basic healthcare, quality education, proper nutrition, clean water, sanitation, protection from violence, and safeguarding against exploitation.
Child Protection:
  • UNICEF is a prominent advocate for children’s rights and protection, working to prevent child labor, trafficking, and other forms of exploitation.
Emergency Response:
  • In times of crisis, UNICEF plays a crucial role in providing immediate relief and support to children and families affected by disasters, conflicts, and emergencies.
  • UNICEF collaborates with governments, non-governmental organizations, other United Nations agencies, and various partners to implement programs and initiatives that benefit children and mothers.
Achievements and Challenges:
  • Over the years, UNICEF’s efforts have contributed to significant improvements in child health, education, and overall well-being.
  • Despite these achievements, there are ongoing challenges, such as persistent poverty, unequal access to resources, and new emerging threats to children’s well-being.
Advocacy and Awareness:
  • UNICEF plays a critical role in raising awareness about child rights issues, mobilizing public support, and advocating for policies that benefit children.
Nobel Peace Prize:
  • UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 for its dedicated work to promote the well-being and rights of children worldwide.
Long-Term Commitment:
  • UNICEF’s commitment to improving the lives of children and mothers reflects the broader United Nations goal of achieving sustainable development and ensuring a better future for all.

-Source: The Hindu

September 2023