Cholera is a disease that sickens and kills the world’s poorest people. It is highly stigmatized, as declaring an outbreak can threaten countries’ export and tourism industries. Thus, cholera is as much a political problem as it is a health problem. Though all the technologies we need to end cholera are available today—including the oral cholera vaccine, and safe,water, sanitation and hygiene—cholera control had long been reactive. Countries would chase after outbreaks without a strategy or political will to permanently cut cases and deaths.
The Gates Foundation and their grantee, the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC)—part of the cholera team at The World Health Organization (WHO), decided to change that—and enlisted GHV’s support. The GTFCC and partners developed a bold new strategy (“Ending Cholera: A Roadmap to 2030”) that calls for a proactive multi-sectoral approach to cholera control, targeting a 90% reduction in cholera deaths worldwide, and the elimination of cholera from 20 of the 47 endemic countries. GHV supported the GTFCC in the drafting, editing, and visual presentation of the strategy, and in developing a Theory of Change and a Results Framework to concretely assess partners’ achievements under the Roadmap.
For a strategy launch event in October 2017, GHV provided support in event planning and management, visual and presentation support, and traditional and social media communications. GHV also supported the GTFCC in drafting a declaration signed by 35 leading global health organizations,committing financial and human resources to the Roadmap.
In May 2018, Zambia and Haiti introduced a resolution on cholera to the World Health Assembly (WHA). In support of this bold leadership, the GTFCC and key partners, including the BMGF and WaterAid, held a WHA side event, again with event production, presentation and communications support by GHV. GHV also scripted, developed, and produced a short film that was screened at the meeting. The event included high-level representatives from countries, donors, and partners, including WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.