Following the first reported cholera case in Lebanon, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) declared a cholera outbreak on 6 October 2022. Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by ingesting contaminated food or water. It can spread rapidly in areas with inadequate access to safe water, sanitation, and health care. Vulnerable populations living in inadequate shelters with limited access to basic services are at heightened risk to be exposed to cholera. This includes refugees living in informal tented settlements and collective shelters as well as vulnerable host communities.
UNHCR’s interventions aim to support the national plan and are implemented under the overall leadership of the MoPH. UNHCR will continue to adapt its interventions in line with the exigencies of the evolving humanitarian situation. The objectives and activities of UNHCR’s cholera response are:
- Enhance cholera prevention, response, and surveillance structures, to contain the outbreak, including support for vaccination campaign, through conducting oral cholera vaccinations and providing rapid diagnostic tests.
- Increase the capacity of health care facilities and ensure access to early diagnosis, treatment, and timely life-saving support for cholera/acute watery diarrhea patients, through converting some COVID-19 treatment facilities into Cholera treatment centers and providing hospitals with essential items.
- Strengthen risk communication and community engagement by capacitating volunteers and community groups to share information, raise awareness, promote hygiene practices, identify, and refer cases
- Ensure timely and appropriate hygiene and shelter measures to control the spread of cholera by distributing personal hygiene items, improving sanitation conditions in collective shelters, and providing clean water where needed.
How Can you Help?
UNHCR is appealing to its generous donors to consider contributing today to its response to the Cholera outbreak in Lebanon. Refugees and local communities alike, are facing tough economic challenges and a deteriorating infrastructure. With your donation, UNHCR can continue to mitigate the devastating effects of this outbreak on both refugees and host communities – saving lives in the process. Your Sadaqah donation will make a huge difference in the lives of high-risk populations living under the extreme poverty line in Lebanon.