World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Haiti’s Cholera outbreak peak a month off

Haiti’s Cholera outbreak peak a month off – but death rate is down

Nov 24: UNICEF and its 70 partners are now fully mobilised against what is clearly one of the major outbreaks of cholera in recent history.

Haiti’s cholera outbreak is unlikely to peak until late December. Meanwhile, everything is being done to reduce the death toll, limit the number of people who catch the disease, and to treat the sick.

As of November 19, 56, 901 people sought care for episodes of cholera, 23817 cases requited hospitalisation and 1344 people had died. Around 200,000 people are expected to catch the disease.

Tensions around the presidential elections on November 28 led to deterioration of the security situation in the North.

Unrest in the north against UN troops, wrongly blamed for spreading the disease also hampered efforts. Testing has proved that UN troops did not bring cholera to Haiti.

Cities like Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital have serious gaps in sanitation. There are also serious concerns about funeral procedures– community wakes around bodies risk spreading the disease further. Mass graves are also undesirable, because sometimes they are close to water tables.

People have been issued with the basic cholera prevention tools – bars of soap, water treatment tablets and oral rehydration salts. Five thousand schools have been given such supplies. In some places, like hard-hit Artibonite, a water treatment unit has been installed. Otherwise, people use on water purification tablets or clean bought water.

UNICEF and the Haitian Government are also training teachers and social workers to explain basic messages to children and adults. Where there is already cholera in a school, it is disinfected, before learning is resumed. School water supplies and sanitation facilities are being upgraded.

Unfortunately, a recent survey showed that many Haitian people don’t understand that cholera is treatable and should not be fatal. Hand washing is not widely practised, the survey showed.

“The tools of cholera prevention are quite simple and the disease is largely treatable, but because it is essentially a new disease to Haiti and because of the inadequate state of drains, sewers and water supplies, it is a difficult place to prevent the spread of the disease,” said Dennis McKinlay, UNICEF NZ executive director.

“Both education and practices like water treatment are important. You have to change people’s practices and upgrade facilities, wherever possible. It is a multi-tiered approach.”

More medical staff, with experience in cholera treatment, are being sought both from within Haiti and without.

“A sign that UNICEF cholera-response is working is the reduced death rate in Artibonite. It peaked on 8-9 of November, and is now well under half what it was. The number of cases is also falling there,” he said. But when you see pieces of good news like, this you can’t rest on your laurels,” he said.

But as of November 20, only about 10% of the work has been done. As part of the response plan, UNICEF $US19.4 million for its programmes.

“The money UNICEF needs for its vital plans in containing the spread of cholera, and in treating cholera cases, to minimise the death toll, is only starting to come in,” Mr McKinlay said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>