This followed years of his involvement in evaluating different cholera response procedures brought to the Foundation for funding. He recognized in too many of them the traditional orientation of service agencies to focus on treatment, not on prevention. He acknowledged the importance of treatment, but was determined to convince these agencies that without prevention there would be no end to cholera epidemics! Encouraged by colleagues, he sought guidance and involvement from internationally recognized cholera experts in a roundtable approach to discussing alternative prevention procedures. The group believed these alternatives should be brought to the attention of government officials in countries experiencing cholera epidemics, as well as to international development agencies. With the agreement of Dr. Ibrahim Mayaki, former Prime Minister of Niger, then as now, Chief Executive Officer of The African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), to serve as Chairman, and agreement of the Veolia Foundation to provide Secretariat services, the formalization of the Global Alliance Against Cholera began.
Today the principle activity of G.A.A.C. Council members is participation in annual Roundtable meetings which have been held in Marseille, France as well as in Washington DC. The G.A.A.C. Secretariat also maintains a "Data Bank" of recently published scientific articles, details of which can be found in the following section of this website.
The mission of G.A.A.C. Council members remains focused on advocacy for, and information about, cholera prevention activities that provide clear evidence of capability for sustainable prevention. It was not to become an action agency with programs of its own. In the following sections readers will find contacts to informational resources identified by the Secretariat that are freely available to all interested individuals and organizations. The focus of its advocacy role by Council members continues to be on promoting WASH, (water, sanitation and hygiene activities) , as the most viable and cost effective way to end cholera. This is evidenced in their participation in other organizational activities related to cholera response issues.
Benefiting from the ongoing Secretariat services of the Veolia Foundation, G.A.A.C. Council members have learned of the ongoing cholera prevention activities financed by the Foundation, that have served as illustrations of successful WASH practices! Dr. Vandevelde, has also brought the G.A.A.C. advocacy mission to the attention of WHO, UNICEF, and many other international financing and service agencies responding to cholera crises. G.A.A.C. Council members who serve not as representatives of their agencies, but rather as knowledgeable and committed scientists, epidemiologists, physicians, and administrators are finding the Roundtable approach highly beneficial in sharing their cholera prevention experiences!