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Recurrent cholera epidemics in Africa: which way forward? A literature review

  • Abraham Ajayi
  • Stella I. Smith



Outbreaks of cholera in Africa seem to be unrelenting which has been continuous and recurrent leading to high morbidity and mortality in some quarters.


The objective of this narrative review is to investigate and identify factors responsible for the recurrent outbreaks of cholera in Africa and response strategies that have been employed in curbing the problem, with the view of aggregating otherwise sparing data needed for policy formulation geared towards control and eradication of the disease.


Search of literatures indexed in Google Scholar, PubMed and AJOL databases was carried out. Sixty-five eligible articles with reports on the risk factors that drive recurrent outbreaks, endemicity and response strategies were analyzed.


Our findings indicate that continuous and recurrent outbreaks of cholera in Africa are fueled by cross-border migration, environmental reservoirs, socioeconomic factors, climate change and political instability. The review also identified specific response strategies and modelling approaches that have helped in containing and reducing the impact of these outbreaks.


Paying attention and tackling these identified factors that are dependent and independent can help put an end to this running battle.


Africa Cholera Endemic Risk factors Vibrio cholerae 



No funding was involved in putting this review together.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


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© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of LagosLagosNigeria
  2. 2.Molecular Biology and Biotechnology DepartmentNigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR)LagosNigeria

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