Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– The International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) and AmeriCares, a US humanitarian organization,  are joining forces to launch a Global Cholera Preparedness program, to prevent thousands of deaths over the next two years. 
The commitment, announced recently at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York and featured during a special session on effective disaster preparedness, combines the technical expertise of ICDDR,B with appropriate medical supplies and AmeriCares emergency response capabilities to enable timely and effective responses to outbreaks.
Some 5 million cholera cases are reported worldwide while over 100,000 deaths from the waterborne disease, which spreads rapidly in areas with overcrowding and poor sanitation, an ICDDR,B press statement said.
The two organizations collaborated to identify the necessary expertise and resources to save lives during cholera outbreaks. These include an assessment and diagnostic team for rapid deployment, a pre-positioned ‘kit’ with essential medicines and supplies to treat 
15,000 patients suffering from cholera and other causes of acute watery diarrhea, and establishment of a model training and treatment center to train and reinforce best practices for managing a large-scale cholera outbreak.
The ICDDR,B pioneered the development of Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), the most effective treatment of acute watery diarrhoea yet developed. For more than five decades, the ICDDR,B has delivered treatment and training to cholera-afflicted communities in Bangladesh. 
The ICDDR,B teams of cholera experts have provided assistance and training across the globe in countries like Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Haiti, and, most recently, in Kenya and Somalia.
The AmeriCares has been responding to emergencies allover the globe for nearly 30 years, including delivering aid for disease epidemics like the recent cholera outbreak in Haiti. From floods and cyclones to tsunamis, nearly all of the emergencies AmeriCares responds to involve some form of medical aid to treat waterborne diseases. 
BBN/SSR/AD-22Sept11-9:31 pm (BST)