To assess the quality of the response to the 2008 outbreak of cholera in Cotonou (Benin), this retrospective study focused on the health professionals managing the response, community leaders, cases of cholera found in homes and health service documents. The terms of reference used for the purposes of this assessment included the WHO recommendations and the rules set out in the national plan for the fight against epidemics. The resources and method used in this study complied with the norms specified in the plan, as did the epidemiologic follow-up. Community and family interventions concerned only a limited number of households in comparison with the total number of cases. Of the 402 cases diagnosed between July 28th and October 16th 2008, 384 cases were given treatment complying with the specified protocols, and just one death was recorded (hospital lethality 0.25%). The mean length of hospitalization was 2.43 days ± 1.16. Compliance with standard response procedures resulted in good quality care and very low lethality. The national plan of response to epidemics is therefore validated. An improved management of outbreaks requires national multi-sector coordination. Authorities in the following areas need to be involved: healthcare, environment, education, public administration and local communities.
- quality of response