Haiti - Cholera : Increase of the alert level - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7

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Haiti - Cholera : Increase of the alert level
25/05/2012 08:13:15

Haiti - Cholera : Increase of the alert level
OCHA’s Director of Operations, John Ging, has ended a three-day visit to Haiti where he took stock of the humanitarian challenges, particularly the cholera epidemic. During a visit to a Cholera Treatment Center (CTC) run by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in the Martissant neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, grave concerns were expressed by aid workers about this year’s epidemic, which has already affected 13,000 people, 132 of whom have died. World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the epidemic may escalate to more than 200,000 cases in 2012.

Detection and response capacity are significantly reduced this year due to cuts in aid budgets informed John Ging, who stressed the urgency for new and more sustainable approaches by aid agencies and local authorities, and more commitment by donors. "It is unacceptable that lives are being lost to cholera because last year’s capacity building in the areas of prevention and response were lost due to a lack of funding."

During his stay, Mr. Ging met Haiti’s Minister of Health, Dr. Florence Duperval Guillaume, who outlined the government plan for a more sustainable approach to cholera and health care more generally. Improving the appalling conditions of hundreds of thousands of people who lack potable water and basic sanitation was highlighted as the most urgent priority in the effort to prevent further outbreaks of disease.

Representatives of donor countries acknowledged in a meeting with Mr. Ging that much progress had been made, but agreed that the inhumanity of the plight of hundreds of thousands of Haitians must motivate all parties to continue their efforts.

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