Fri | Feb 21, 2020

Cholera gone in Haiti, but not forgotten -WHO

Published:Tuesday | January 14, 2020 | 10:40 AM
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WASHINGTON, CMC – Two United Nations health agencies Monday said death from cholera in Haiti is preventable and urged the local authorities to accelerate investments in clean water and adequate sanitation.

The Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), in a joint statement, noted that the cholera outbreak that began in Haiti in October 2010 caused an estimated 820,000 cases and killed 9,792 people.

But they said due to the hard work of the Haitian government and the population in partnership with PAHO and other agencies, there have been no confirmed cases of cholera since the end of January 2019.

“As Haiti approaches one year free of cholera, the disease may be gone, but it is certainly not forgotten. Now is the time to act to ensure that cholera in Haiti remains a distant memory.”

The two agencies said cholera is a disease of inequity that unduly sickens and kills the poorest and most vulnerable people, mostly those without access to clean water and sanitation.

“It causes severe diarrhoea and dehydration that can kill a formerly healthy person within hours. So long as diseases like cholera remain, we will simply not achieve universal health, nor will we ensure the very crux of the sustainable development agenda – leaving no one behind.

“Death from cholera is preventable with the tools that we have today. Primary health clinics have been established throughout Haiti with trained personnel that are able to manage cases and save people with adequate rehydration and care. Surveillance is in place to detect and respond to possible flare-ups. And a vaccine is available, which PAHO/WHO can mobilise from the global stockpile.”

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