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Faculty & Staff Honors

Johns Hopkins: Faculty Receives Grant to Help Reduce Cholera Outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health received a $1.3 million grant from Wellcome Trust to develop and test interventions to reduce cholera hotspots in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The project, led by Dr. Christine Marie George, an associate professor of international health at the Bloomberg School, will be carried out in collaboration with the National Program for the Elimination of Cholera in the DRC.

Members of a household with cholera patients are at a 100 times higher risk of developing a cholera infection than the general population during the one-week period after the patient presents at a health facility. Little work, however, has been done to develop ways of reducing these household members’ risk of infection. To address this gap, researchers will develop and evaluate a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) intervention targeted at this high-risk population.

The project is modeled after the successful Cholera-Hospital-Based-Intervention-for-7-Days (CHoBI7) in Bangladesh. Also led by Dr. George, CHoBI7 demonstrated that a targeted WASH intervention can significantly reduce symptomatic cholera among members of a household with cholera patients and lead to sustained improvements in handwashing with soap and stored drinking water quality 12 months after the intervention.

Dr. George and her colleagues will investigate how CHoBI7 can be adapted for South Kivu and ultimately integrated into the National Cholera Elimination Plan for the DRC. The project is scheduled to begin in October and last for two years.

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