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Haiti Cholera Deaths Stabilizing

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti  – The number of people dying from cholera in Haiti has been on a downward trend or has stabilized in all ten of the country’s departments affected by the outbreak, the United Nations humanitarian office has reported.

The number of people who have been hospitalized with the disease has also been decreasing.

But the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that it remains unclear whether the epidemic has reached its peak. 

The cholera outbreak was first reported in October last year and led to the setting up of cholera treatment centres and smaller treatments units throughout affected areas, and a call from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the international community to provide immediate massive aid to fight the epidemic. 

As of January 16, Haiti’s public health ministry reports 194,095 cumulative cases of cholera and 3,889 deaths, with an overall fatality rate of two per cent nationwide. In November, the UN World Health Organisation reported the fatality rate as standing at 2.3 per cent. 

In its update, OCHA said the number of daily hospitalizations nationwide is down, from 837 on December 11, to 515 on December16; and partners, such as Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), are planning to close treatment locations and reduce their presence in some areas due to the decrease in the number of cholera cases being admitted. 

OCHA said much effort is now focused on moving medical services to areas where they are most needed, mainly in remote rural areas. A total of 129 physicians and 326 nurses are still needed nationwide to support cholera response activities – a significant decrease from the 2,000 nurses and 350 physicians initially required. 

Humanitarian agencies are also focusing on raising hygiene awareness and spreading cholera prevention messages in camps and surrounding host communities, as well as distributing hygiene kits. Cholera prevention activities and the training of teachers on nutrition and children’s emergency hygiene promotion are also being implemented in schools. 

OCHA said that lack of funding, poor access to remote areas and lack of community mobilizers have been identified as the most pressing needs in relation to the cholera outbreak. 


STORY TAGS: BLACK NEWS, AFRICAN AMERICAN NEWS, MINORITY NEWS, CIVIL RIGHTS NEWS, DISCRIMINATION, RACISM, RACIAL EQUALITY, BIAS, EQUALITY, AFRO AMERICAN NEWS



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