Haiti - Cholera Epidemic : The MSPP hides the truth to the people - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7

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Haiti - Cholera Epidemic : The MSPP hides the truth to the people
22/12/2010 13:53:24

Haiti - Cholera Epidemic : The MSPP hides the truth to the people
Last cholera assessment: Since the beginning of the epidemic of cholera in the country (October 19, 2010), 121.518 people were infected and treated, 63.711 people were hospitalized and 2.591 people died. According to the most recent assessment of MSPP, dated of December 17, 2010. Note that these figures are grossly underestimated by the government, according to health experts from the UN, who believe that these figures could be double those released.

Despite the gravity of the situation, the donor are not sufficiently mobilized. Of the 174 million [call for emergency funds from the UN] only 44 million (25%) have been received so far. "In the Northwest we need actors who work in the field of water and sanitation in rural areas, and in particular to disinfect water. At least 2 million water purification tablets, 1000 boxes of soap, 800 kilos of chlorine powder, are required immediately and urgently in the department of South-East. In the west is the problem of the management of bodies and corpses which is problematic because it is necessary to identify sites where we are going to bury them, in a completely safe way, and we also have a problem to transport water in particular because now there is a lack of funding. So for the activities of transporting water by truck in Port-au-Prince we lack of funding and again it is a problem..." resumed Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for OCHA.

For several weeks, the Haitian authorities gives false indicators to the population, suggesting that in the Department of the West (Port-au-Prince, Carrefour, Cité Soleil, Delmas, Kenscoff, Pétion Ville, and Tabarre) the situation is stabilizes in Port-au-Prince and in the Artibonite. We denounce the manipulation of figures from the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP). The Department publishes reports where overall mortality (hospital and community) in the West continues to decline to the lowest level of the country, in an area that represents more than 40% of the population (!).

To reach this result, the MSPP does not record (among others) the death in the communities. Thus, between November 9, 2010 and December 17, 2010 there, reading the official report that the number of deaths in the community (Port-au-Prince and metropolitan area) has increased from 6 dead to 9 dead, either 3 more deaths in 38 days, while at the same time, the mortality, in hospital and/or in the Cholera Treatment Center (CTC) for this area increased from 4 to 232 dead.

Another example for the entire Grand'Anse Department, the Government indicates 1.045 cases hospitalized since the epidemic began, while for the only NGO Médecins du Monde (MDM), the number of cases since November 22 ,and for the two centers under its control, is of 2,600 cases.

Even if the MSPP indicates that its data for Grand'Anse are partial due to the time of collection (48 to 72 hours) this can not be explained by this reason alone. Further, the analysis of official reports of MSPP offer many other examples of numbers that do not correspond to the magnitude of the epidemic and which masks the reality of the situation to the people of Haiti.

Contradicting the messages of improvement from the Haitian health authority the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said on December 21, 2010, an increase in the number of cholera cases in Artibonite and the Department of the West where there is a lack of water and good sanitation and hygiene. The department of Grande Anse has an urgent need of ambulances, only one is available to transport patients to the entire department.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized, Friday, December 17 that the cholera outbreak could not be stopped in the short term.

Back in Switzerland, Tuesday night from a mission in Haiti of three weeks for the Swiss Red Cross, in Grand Goave in the west, where he was involved with Medecins du Monde in the establishment of a cholera treatment center (CTC), Martin Weber, a specialist in tropical diseases provides that "the disease kills much more than it is said" according to him that "published figures are completely undervalued. I think we can easily multiply by ten the number of victims of the epidemic".

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