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Haiti - Health : The fight against the epidemic is organized
22/10/2010 17:00:06

Haiti - Health : The fight against the epidemic is organized
Jean Max Bellerive, Haiti's Prime Minister said "This is the first time we are faced with such cholera epidemic in Haiti, we do everything possible epidemiological tests to determine where it came from [...] Most cases have occurred along the river Artibonite" he expressed his great concern about the risk of disease spread southward, until in the vast IDP camps of Port-au Prince.

UN accelerates the sending medical aid to Haiti to fight against the cholera epidemic, including medical staff, 300,000 tablets to fight against cholera as well as 10,000 boxes of tablets for purifying water and soap. The epidemic has killed at least 150 people, informations confirmed by official of the organization.

Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations in the country carry doctors, medical equipment and clean water in Saint-Marc, and in the Artibonite department that appears to be the starting point of the epidemic. This agricultural region in the center of Haiti where tens of thousands of survivors have found refuge after the earthquake.

Wen don't know if the epidemic peak was reached, but the crisis is certainly not over, said Dr. Michel Thieren, of the Pan American Health Organization (the regional office of WHO). Victims suffer from diarrhea and dehydration very quickly. In some cases, death came just hours after the onset of symptoms.

According to health authorities, Dominican Republic announced today the launch of an epidemiological monitoring program in response to the cholera epidemic in Haiti "The cholera outbreak in Haiti represents all the dangers of the world for the Dominican Republic, because there is no possibility of preventing a bacterium or virus to take a long border of 376 km, to the intense commercial activity and traversed by a strong Haitian emigration", said Bautista Rojas Gomez, Dominican Minister of Public Health.

The minister said that "all health centers in border cities have been strengthened with health personnel, medicines and medical supplies to treat patients with symptoms of cholera [...] prevention campaign at the border asking people to take hygiene measures has been launched and the Ministry of Health asked the National Water Institute to increase the dose of chlorine in water that is supplied to the population of the border area with Haiti [...] no cases of cholera had been reported this Friday afternoon in the Dominican Republic and we have put in place more demanding controls at the border", concluded the minister.

Recall that the confirmation of cholera O1 strains comes from the Haitian laboratories and that WHO said today that he does not confirm the presence of cholera and they expect the results of its own tests WHO evokes for the moment a "diarrheal outbreak" and a statement this morning, and an assessment this morning of at least 150 deaths and more than 1.500 infected people. WHO emphasizes that diarrheal diseases other than cholera can also kill in hours if not treated.

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