The World Health Organization (WHO) has established 17 standard cholera treatment centres (CTC) across Ethiopia, marking a critical development in its fight against the ongoing cholera outbreak.  

By launching these centres, the agency intends to provide rapid care to people affected by the disease. 

WHO describes a CTC as a dedicated, self-contained medical facility that operates round-the-clock, featuring its own general services, including a kitchen, laundry, bathrooms, showers, and morgue, as well as a waste area.  

CTCs are also equipped with the stocks and resources necessary for patient care, such as water, electricity, and other medical and logistics supplies.  

WHO opened these 17 CTCs across eight Ethiopian regions, aiming to enhance the accessibility and availability of cholera treatment for patients in different regions of the country.  

Of these, two CTCs are located in Central Ethiopia, two in Addis Ababa City, one in Amhara, three in Afar, four in Southwest Ethiopia Peoples’ Region, one CTC in Dire Dawa, two in Oromia, and two in Sidama.  

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Offering a combined capacity of 718 beds, all of the 17 CTCs feature designated areas for various stages of patient care, from screening and triage to recovery, and are fully equipped with medical supplies and infrastructure. 

Establishment of these CTCs comes after a series of discussions between local health officials and community members to prevent environmental contamination.  

Since the first outbreak of cholera on 26 August 2022, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute have been receiving technical and financial support from the WHO and other key stakeholders to address the outbreak.  

Apart from the physical setup of the CTCs, WHO has taken several other measures to prevent cross-infection and maintain high standards of infection prevention.  

This includes clear demarcation, with fencing and labelling, of different areas within the centres, as well as the installation of water supply, distribution, storage, and handwashing facilities.  

WHO has also focused on guiding healthcare workers at these centres by distributing standard case management and follow-up protocols.