Tag Archive | "Haiti"

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Cholera takes a feared turn in Haiti – MiamiHerald.com



With 73 people hospitalized for cholera in this quake-battered capital, the epidemic is spreading and has officially made its way into Haiti’s largest city.

“We are on a rise,” said Christian Lindmeier, spokesman for the World Health Organization in Haiti. “The figures will climb.”

The cholera death toll now stands at 583, and 9,123 Haitians have been hospitalized with acute diarrhea, Haiti’s health ministry said Tuesday.

The increase comes amid fears that flooding from last week’s Hurricane Tomas will trigger more hospitalizations and even more deaths from the illness that is spread by drinking contaminated water.

Haitian government health officials acknowledged that the epidemic is evolving and has not yet peaked.

“This is now a matter of national security,” said Dr. Gabriel Timothee, director general of the Ministry of Health.

Cholera is now present in half of Haiti’s 10 geographical departments.

The spread of the disease to Port-au-Prince is worrisome because the overcrowded capital is not only home to most of the 1.5 million people displaced by the Jan. 12 earthquake and still living in tents or under tarps but also to hundreds of thousands of other people living without access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation.

Among those who have become ill are 115 people who sought treatment at a hospital in Cité Soleil, a teeming slum in the capital, Timothee said. Officials say they are still awaiting lab results to see if the patients have cholera or another illness that causes similar symptoms.

At least one of those who arrived at the Cité Soleil hospital has died.

Despite interviews with family members, health officials cannot say for certain the person did not travel to the lower Artibonite region where the cholera epidemic first broke out.

ON DEFENSE

In recent weeks, health officials have been working hard to keep cholera at bay in Port-au-Prince.

“The increasing numbers of cases of suspected cholera in our facilities throughout Port-au-Prince are certainly alarming,” said Stefano Zannini, head of mission for Doctors Without Borders in Haiti.

Haiti’s health ministry, which was the first to acknowledge the cholera outbreak, has taken the lead on informing the public about the waterborne infection.

But the collection of data from several sources and the perception that all diarrhea is a sign of cholera has added to confusion about how many victims there are.

“There comes a point where trying to judge an epidemic by the numbers is misleading,” said Imogen Wall, spokeswoman for the United Nations Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs.

“We know what this is. We know what it looks like. Those numbers are only the people who make it to hospitals and make it on to a statistical radar,” she said.

“As we see some numbers rise, it doesn’t necessarily, by itself, indicate that there is a significant increase in the number of cholera cases; only that the surveillance system that the Haitian government is employing with the support of the United States and international partners is actually improving,” said P.J. Crowley of the U.S. State Department.

Zannini said while the government’s continued public awareness campaigns on preventive measures are important, Haitians need to get immediate treatment at the first sign of illness.

Cholera treatment centers are key in affected areas.

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Flooding Raises New Cholera Fears in Haiti – New York Times


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CTV.ca
Flooding Raises New Cholera Fears in Haiti
New York Times
Cholera patients lay in a hospital in Petite Rivière on Sunday. The cholera outbreak has killed more than 500 people and sickened more than 7000. By RANDAL C. ARCHIBOLD ST. DENIS, Haiti — Three medical workers arrived at a clinic near here over the
Haiti tests capital for choleraBBC News
Cholera case confirmed in Haitian capitalYnetnews
Tomas aftermath raises concern over worsening cholera outbreakCNN International
Voice of America -Xinhua -TIME
all 4,961 news articles »

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Haiti plagued by cholera – Aljazeera.net



Flooding in Haiti, caused by Hurricane Tomas, has heavily affected the cholera-infested region of Artibonite, where the first cases of the water-borne disease were diagnosed.  

The Artibonite river has been swollen by the rains brought by the storm and there are fears that the floodwaters could be contaminated with cholera.

Cholera has killed 501 people and sickened more than 7,000 others since the first cases were confirmed in Haiti about two weeks ago.

“The storm has passed, now we are bandaging the wounds that the storm has left, but the cholera epidemic is continuing, especially since the situation has gotten worse because on one side we have the rivers that will carry the bacteria everywhere, and on the other hand, we have the people who have been displaced that could also carry the bacteria,” Rene Preval, the president, said on Saturday.

However, some are sceptical about the impact of the outbreak.

Al Jazeera’s Imtiaz Tyab, reporting from the capital, Port-au-Prince, on Sunday, said Haiti’s minister of health had claimed that nongovernmental organisations were exaggerating the spread of the disease.

“He [the minister] went on to suggest that he thought it was a way for them to attract more donations to fund cholera projects or projects to fight cholera,” our correspondent said.

“Haiti has for a very long time had a very complex relationship with NGOs. In fact, there are more NGOs operating out of Haiti than anywhere else in the world per capita. These NGOs have an astounding amount of money and have also spent a lot of money here. But many Haitians say that they have very little to show for it.”

Tomas skirted Haiti on Friday, flooding some coastal towns and forcing thousands from their homes.

Camps housing survivors of January’s earthquake in the capital were soaked, but the storm’s impact was not as bad as many had feared it would be.


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Haiti cholera death toll tops 500 – ABC Online


Posted November 7, 2010 20:03:00

The death toll from an outbreak of cholera in Haiti has now risen to more than 500.

The health ministry says its latest figures show the death toll has risen to 501 from 442 three days ago.

The number of people admitted to hospital with the waterborne disease is also up from 6,742 to 7,359.

Aid workers fear the two-week-old cholera epidemic could escalate because of floodwaters caused by Hurricane Tomas.

The storm has largely spared the crowded camps housing more than 1 million people from January’s earthquake.

But relief agencies are rushing clean drinking water and food to areas affected by the floods.

Buenaventura Sanchez, a Cuban doctor working in the area where cholera first broke out, says the storm has already made the epidemic worse.

“The situation here after the storm has worsened,” he said.

“We have a higher number of cases. Right now we are seeing higher numbers of patients than in the days before.

“We’re [also] seeing cases of cholera with typhoid fever at the same time.”


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disasters-and-accidents, storm, health, diseases-and-disorders, infectious-diseases, haiti

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