Haitian government warns … cholera cases are increasing dramatically

The Haitian Ministry of Health announced on Tuesday that the cholera outbreak in this country is in rapid increase, as the number of cases doubled to around 2,000 in a few days, with at least 41 deaths.

The new outbreak of the disease, which began in early October, comes nearly three years after the poor Caribbean country, also bogged down in increased insecurity, eradicated an outbreak that started in 2010 and killed more than 10,000 people.

“Until a few days ago, the increase in cholera cases was gradual, but we are currently seeing an alarming increase, so the situation is becoming more difficult,” wrote Ulrika Richardson, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Haiti. in a blog posted on Tuesday.

“Although cholera can be fatal, it can be prevented and treated,” he said, adding that “speed is a key factor” in containing the outbreak.

Richardson praised the United Nations-sponsored “immediate and decisive” action by the Haitian authorities and NGOs, which continues to face a severe shortage of clean water and fuel due to the spread of gangs.

The Haitian Ministry of Health announced that between 19 and 23 October the number of suspected cases increased from 964 to 1972, while the number of deaths increased from 33 to 41 deaths. The vast majority of cases were found in the province of Gharb, in the capital, Port-au-Prince and in the poor neighborhood of Cité Soleil.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that according to UNICEF, children under the age of 14 account for about half of the cases.

He added that the fuel shortage caused by the gang siege of Haiti’s main fuel import terminal was complicating the work of NGOs and hampering the supply of clean water essential to fight cholera.

Richardon said he visited several cholera treatment centers in the capital’s worst-hit district, where he saw heartbreaking scenes such as “children so malnourished it is difficult to inject the vaccine into their arms or legs.”

The Haitian government has appealed to the international community to provide assistance to stem the worsening health and security crisis. The UN Security Council, at the request of Secretary General Antonio Guterres, is considering the idea of ​​sending an international force to restore order.

It was the United Nations Stabilization Mission that introduced cholera to the country in 2010.

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