Dr. Paul Spiegel, director of the Center for Humanitarian Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was awarded a USAID grant to lead an evaluation of the effectiveness of the humanitarian response in combating the recent cholera outbreak in Yemen. His team will identify lessons learned and provide recommendations for future responses to emerging infectious disease outbreaks in conflict-affected, complex humanitarian emergencies. The team will use the eight-month, approximately $250,000 grant to undertake a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the public health response to the 2016-2017 outbreak, including decision making in nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).
Cholera is transmitted through an oral-fecal route, with outbreaks and endemic transmission tending to occur in areas with poor sanitation and a lack of clean drinking water. It affects an estimated three to five million people per year worldwide where there is unsafe water and poor sanitation and causes 28,000 to 130,000 deaths annually.
Dr. Spiegel is a professor in the Bloomberg School’s department of international health. Prior to joining the Bloomberg School, Dr. Spiegel held several positions at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, including deputy director of the division of programme management and support services, and chief of public health and HIV section.