Lake Chad basin
Lake Chad Basin: Crossborder collaboration initiatives
In the West Africa region and the Sahel, at least 30,000 cases and 1,000 deaths of cholera are reported each year with a case fatality ratio of 3.05% (WHO, 1999-2011). The trend is on the rise, with approximately 50,000 cases and 1,250 deaths per year between 2010 and 2015. In addition, it is assumed that many cases and in particular the community deaths are not reported. The epidemiological surveillance and information system remain very variable from one country to another, and is far from being effective in most of the areas at risk.
The area of the Lake Chad Basin, shared by Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon, is one of the most affected by cholera outbreaks in the region. Data analysis has shown that since 2010, the epidemiological profile of this region has been of concern in view of the annual succession of epidemics and their impact.
In addition sustainable and effective management of issues related to cholera around the Lake Chad Basin passes through a strong collaboration between the countries in terms of surveillance and early detection, information exchange and experience sharing. The actions limited within the border of one country will not successfully prevent and control cholera outbreaks given people’s frequent migration and exchanges between communities within this region. Only a synergy of actions between the 4 countries will make possible the elimination of cholera in this area.
Several workshops have been facilitated by the Regional cholera platform so as to contribute improving cross-border collaboration between the countries of the Lake Chad Basin in cholera outbreaks:
- The Abuja meeting resulting in the Abuja commitments (Oct. 2010),
- The cross-border meeting of Maroua (Nov-Dec. 2011)
- The regional workshop held in Dakar in 2013: Harmonized Health for Africa
- The cross-border meeting of Niamey (Nov-Dec. 2014)
- The cross-border meeting of Douala. (Oct 2016)
These workshops played a critical role at improving cross-border collaboration and the monitoring of the commitments made during the previous meetings. It usually brings together the representatives of the Member States, United Nations agencies (WHO, UNICEF, IOM and OCHA), regional and sub-regional organizations, NGOs and members of civil society.