Haiti - FLASH : Cholera, the WHO is sounding the alarm - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7

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Haiti - FLASH : Cholera, the WHO is sounding the alarm
05/10/2022 09:17:24

Haiti - FLASH : Cholera, the WHO is sounding the alarm
Tuesday October 4th, 2022, Christian Lindmeier, Spokesperson for the World Health Organization (WHO) during a press briefing in Geneva declared "It is very important now to get help on the ground as soon as possible. as possible" He described in Haiti a difficult cocktail of circumstances surrounding the spread of cholera, with cases appearing in areas controlled by gangs "With the humanitarian and health situation as it is, and the areas controlled by gangs where there is virtually no access to monitor, test or even provide assistance, we should unfortunately expect more and more cases."

"This situation greatly complicates the humanitarian response [...] The situation is changing rapidly and it is possible that previous cases have gone undetected [...] If fuel is not immediately released for humanitarian purposes, the response to this crisis will be limited and the impact of the epidemic will be exacerbated."

He announced that Haiti could benefit from oral vaccines to fight against cholera indicating that steps were underway with the international coordination group for the supply of such vaccines. Emphasizing, however, that the availability of these vaccines remains limited, as demand remains greater than supply.

The international NGO Médecins sans frontières (MSF) informs that until Monday October 3rd, 2022 it had admitted 68 patients, potentially suffering from cholera, within its structures in the Brooklyn district (in Cité Soleil), and in the centers of Cite Soleil and Turgeau. We already deplore 8 deaths including a 3-year-old child according to the health authorities. 3 suspected cases of cholera have been detected at the national penitentiary...

Cholera treatment units with 10 beds are open in the Brooklyn district, 20 beds at the MSF emergency center in Turgeau and a unit at the Cholera Treatment Center (CTC) with a capacity of 50 beds at the hospital MSF of Cité Soleil https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-37803-haiti-flash-already-7-dead-from-cholera-and-dozens-of-suspected-cases.html which is ready to receive new cholera patients, the other units being already saturated.

"With rising violence and insecurity, many of the poorest Haitian families have no choice but to drink and use unsafe water," said Bruno Maes, Representative of the UNICEF in Haiti. "Families cannot buy soap to wash their hands, garbage is not collected from the streets, hospitals are closed or unable to operate. All of these ingredients have made Haiti a ticking time bomb for cholera. Now it has exploded."

"Due to the scarcity of basic services in Cité Soleil, it is feared that many children will die from this return of cholera. UNICEF has positioned an emergency stock to support the government of Haiti in responding to the resurgence of cholera:

  • 755,000 water purification tablets to serve 15,000 people for 15 days;
  • 28,230 bars of soap to serve 14,000 people for one month;
  • 20 flexible tanks of 10 cubic meters, 10 flexible tanks of 5 cubic meters and 30 tanks are already made available to the National Directorate of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DINEPA).
  • An order for 80 drums of chlorine of 45 kg (3.6 tons in total) has been placed to help DINEPA chlorinate water in Port-au-Prince, disinfect affected households and supply centers health in affected areas."

Bruno Maes recalls that "Cholera can easily spread like wildfire across Haiti if people continue to have no or limited access to basic health, water and sanitation services due to insecurity [...] To reduce the risk of a major epidemic, our most urgent concern is not just to buy and deliver clean water, chlorine and soap, but to find ways to reach the poorest families in gang-controlled areas."

For the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH) "The control of the epidemic will depend on the end of the blockade by the gangs." A humanitarian corridor must be in place urgently in order to allow the supply of fuel in priority to hospitals, DINEPA and telecoms.

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