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Haiti - Health : Tense situation between the Dominican Republic and Haiti...
11/06/2013 10:54:37

Haiti - Health : Tense situation between the Dominican Republic and Haiti...
Monday, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Dominican Ministry of Public Health and the Directorate General of Livestock confirmed in a joint statement, that they they have not recorded a single case of bird flu or swine flu in the Dominican Republic.

For Freddy Hidalgo, the Dominican Minister of Public Health and Lilian Reneau, local representative of PAHO, there is "a confusion in the information on the presence of this virus in the Dominican Republic." Octavio de la Maza, the Deputy Director of Livestock in the Dominbican Republic attributed to "speculation" the allegations of the presence of the virus in the country.

For José Del Castillo Savinon, the Dominican Minister of Industry and Commerce it is clear that the Haitian authorities have confused the virus A / H1N1 human influenza (not transmitted to animals) with other strains, which relate to animals).

A confusion all the more possible that Dr. Lourdes Bellotte, Adviser to the cabinet of the General Director of the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) recognizes that there is currently no reagents (test) on Haitian territory, to make the appropriate analyzes and that the samples are analyzed in a laboratory outside, awaiting the arrival of these reagents in Haiti.

The political class and the Dominican press are in strong reaction against the decision of the Government of Haiti to prohibit the importation of meat and poultry products from the Dominican Republic because of the alleged presence of avian flu. For Dominican media, these provisions are guided by special interests and would aim to foster people close to the government involved in the importation of eggs from the United States, a ban that affects thousands of producers and exporters Dominicans.

In a particularly virulent editorial, the Dominican newspaper "HOY" suggests to rectify through the diplomatic channel the decision unfounded of Haiti "We have enough arguments to ask Haiti to compensate the Dominican Republic" adding that this ban measure is not supported by any scientific evidence and "represents an offense against a state whose President (Danilo Medina) has offered its cooperation to the Government of Haiti [...] If the Haitian authorities refuse to comply, then we will know where we stand and how to manage our trade relations with this state [...]"

For its part, the ultra-nationalist political class, suggests retaliation against Haiti, including the repatriation of thousands of undocumented Haitians...

Despite the offensive of several sectors in the Dominican Republic, to make lift the ban, the Haitian authorities who have recently established an Emergency Committee, composed of representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), of the Centres for the control and prevention of disease, of the National Laboratory, of the Red Cross,of the Ministries of Commerce and Agriculture, of the civil aviation and customs, remain firm on their positions and maintain their refusal to allow enter from the Dominican Republic, poultry, eggs and live animals potentially infected or carriers of avian influenza on the Haitian territory.

For its part the Dominican Government, trying to calm tensions, invite their counterparts of Haiti to dialogue.

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