The Issues

The most effective way to control typhoid is through an integrated prevention and treatment approach that includes vaccines; improvements in safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); reliable typhoid diagnostics; and appropriate antibiotics. Yet, for many of those most vulnerable to typhoid, access to and use of these interventions is a challenge. To take on typhoid, we must advocate for greater prioritization, integrated policies, and innovative solutions to address and overcome these issues.

Expanding coverage of typhoid conjugate vaccines (TCVs)—World Health Organization prequalified TCVs dramatically reduce the chance that someone falls ill with typhoid. TCVs can reduce the need for antibiotics, slow further emergence of drug-resistant typhoid strains, and ultimately save lives.

Improving WASH infrastructure and access to prevent typhoid—By safely separating waste from water sources that are used for drinking, cooking, washing, or swimming, and ensuring that water is treated and free of contaminants, the spread of typhoid is preventable.

Developing new low-cost, easily-scalable diagnostic tools—Currently, typhoid diagnosis requires specialized equipment and personnel. Because of the technical requirements and costs, typhoid diagnosis is often unfeasible in low-resource health facilities. However, while improved diagnostics can help the global and scientific communities understand the full burden, ample data already show that typhoid is a significant public health threat and that proven prevention and treatment solutions can be deployed now, while improved diagnostics are still being developed.

Supporting appropriate antibiotic use for treatment and to limit the spread of drug-resistant typhoid—Appropriate antibiotics are the only effective way to treat typhoid. Depending on the severity of the disease, additional supportive measures, including oral or intravenous hydration, may be necessary. With growing concerns about drug-resistant typhoid strains, it is crucial that the correct drug, dose, and length of treatment are prescribed.


Photo: TyVAC/ Madalitso Mvula.