Hearing Set for Weds., March 2Cholera Threat Topic of Global Health Hearing
The growing threat of cholera in the Middle East and other areas will be the central focus of testimony by leading U.S. authorities at a hearing to be held by the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s global health subcommittee, Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04).
Smith scheduled the congressional hearing, entitled “The Growing Threat of Cholera and other Diseases in the Middle East?” for Weds. March 2. He has held other global health hearings on the threat of diseases such as smallpox, polio, Ebola and other diseases.
“The conflicts in the Middle East are having a hugely negative impact on health in the region, especially in light of the targeting of health workers and health facilities by terrorists,” Smith said. “A year-long cholera outbreak in 2015 may have abated, but ongoing fighting and rebel control of large, unaccountable areas prevent us from being certain. This hearing will examine the status of cholera and other disease outbreaks in the region to determine the most effective U.S. policy options to meet this threat.”
The World Health Organization reported the spread of a cholera epidemic in Iraq in 2007 that crossed over into Iran and Syria and is considered one of the region’s greatest health threats. This threat is believed to be worsened due to an Islamic State that has no experience and little interest in providing social services. The hearing will examine the scope of the cholera threat to determine what can and should be done to control it and minimize its spread beyond the Middle East.
Who: Smith, chair of the Africa and global health subcommittee, other House Members, and non-government organizations, including:
> Dr. Host Peter J. Hotez, M.D., President, Sabin Vaccine Institute
> Dr. Issam I. Raad, M.D., President, Health Outreach to the Middle East
> Dr. J. Stephen Morrison, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Director of Global
Health Policy Center, Center for Strategic and International Studies
When: Wednesday, March 2, at 2 p.m.
Where: Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2172 (first floor)