Haiti - FLASH : Cholera back in Haiti, fear of epidemic, the UN ready to intervene - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7

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Haiti - FLASH : Cholera back in Haiti, fear of epidemic, the UN ready to intervene
03/10/2022 11:22:31

Haiti - FLASH : Cholera back in Haiti, fear of epidemic, the UN ready to intervene
The Ministry of Public Health informs the population that several suspected cases of cholera have been reported in disadvantaged neighborhoods, such as Cité-Soleil, Brooklyn and Martissant and a confirmed case in Savane Pistache / Decayette in the commune of Port-au-Prince (PAP), in a context marked by the worsening of the socio-politico-economic crisis in Haiti.

The Haitian government announced on Sunday that at least 8 people have possibly died of cholera, sparking fears of another outbreak in Haiti which was classified as a cholera-free country in February 2022 https://www.icihaiti.com/en/news-35889-icihaiti-health-3-years-without-cholera-haiti-awaits-its-who-elimination-certificate.html

"Cholera is something that can spread very, very quickly," said Dr. Lauré Adrien, Director General of the Ministry of Public Health, stressing "Most of the victims died in their neighborhoods and were unable to reach to the hospital", lack of fuel, lack of transport and the demonstrations which prevented people from getting to the hospital in time [...] Water has not been available in these areas for a long time and people do not drink treated water adding that cholera cases could increase again. "We ask people who can afford it to add a little chlorine to the water they drink."

Adrien said that health officials are trying to visit communities where suspected cases of cholera have been reported, but that his Ministry is also affected by the lack of fuel "It's a real problem [...] We hope that it will not spread. He pleads for the lifting of barricades and free access to the Varreux oil terminal, which has been blocked for almost 20 days, in order to allow patients to access healthcare establishments or ambulances to be able to reach them.

"Yes, we have cases of diarrhea and vomiting, but we cannot speak for the moment of cholera", informed Médecins sans frontières (MSF), confirming that patients have the symptoms which correspond to the disease, but that wait for lab results to confirm

Dr William Pape, who has been at the forefront of the fight against cholera for almost 10 years, told the Spanish press that he knew people had died at home after suffering from acute diarrhea and vomiting accompanied by dehydration "but to be sure that it is indeed cholera, we need a laboratory diagnosis" pending the results of the analysis of the samples which have been sent to the National Public Health Laboratory (LNSP).

The United Nations supports the efforts of the Government of Haiti to contain a cholera outbreak and provide emergency measures to save lives, following the confirmation of a positive case by the LNSP and the identification of several suspected cases in the metropolitan region of Port-au-Prince.

The case was identified using the cholera surveillance mechanism, established by the Haitian authorities and supported by the United Nations. It was confirmed as positive at the National Public Health Laboratory in Port-au-Prince on Sunday 2 October. Additional suspected cases are currently being investigated in the metropolitan area.

The United Nations is actively monitoring the situation and is working with the government to mount an emergency response to this potential outbreak, focused not only on limiting the spread of the disease, but also on informing the population how to take immediate lifesaving action at the household level. Additional support will consist of expanded surveillance, increased water and sanitation provision, the opening of cholera treatment centers and the reinforcement of case management.

Specialized emergency response teams are ready to be deployed to support affected communities. However, in the current socio-political context, it is imperative that these teams be guaranteed safe access to areas where cases have been confirmed or suspected, to help mitigate the risk of a large or disruptive outbreak.

The United Nations is committed to stand side by side with the Haitian people and Haitian authorities as they seek to contain this outbreak.

The MSPP is counting on the collaboration of the population while taking the necessary measures to contain this outbreak. To avoid catching cholera, the Ministry recommends that everyone take all appropriate hygiene measures:

  • Hand washing;
  • Consumption of drinking water (or boiled water, or water treated with a chlorine product)
  • Food protection
  • Use of latrine for defecation.

Anyone with acute, profuse diarrhea should go immediately to the nearest health center.

The Ministry will keep the population informed of the evolution of the situation and invites everyone to be vigilant.

S/ HaitiLibre

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