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UN concerned with increase in cholera cases

Published:Wednesday | April 4, 2012 | 12:00 AM

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AP):

Haiti is seeing a jump in the number of cholera cases as the Caribbean nation heads into the annual rainy season, a United Nations (UN) humanitarian agency said yesterday.

The UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a monthly bulletin that the new cholera cases were found in the western and northern parts of the country, and that Haitian health officials recorded 77 new cases a day for the whole country in early March, when the rains began.

Medical teams have been deployed to stem the spread of cholera but their effectiveness has been hampered in part by little coordination and an absence of salaries paid to people working in cholera-treatment centres run by Haitian authorities, the UN bulletin said.

The day-to-day operations of the Haitian government have been largely been put on hold after Prime Minister Garry Conille suddenly resigned in February because of clashes with President Michel Martelly. Martelly named his foreign affairs minister, Laurent Lamothe, as his next pick but it's unclear when Parliament will vote on Lamothe's candidacy.

The new cholera cases come after a steady decline since June of last year when aid workers saw peaks of more than 1,000 cases on certain days.