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Cholera Deaths Approach 1,000 In Haiti

Tucked away in the ‘Americas’ section of the New York Times:

Cholera Deaths Up in Haiti, With Worst to Come

November 14, 2010

MEXICO CITY — The death toll in Haiti’s cholera epidemic has reached more than 900, the government reported Sunday, as aid groups rushed soap and clean water to a disaster-wracked population to fight the disease.

The Ministry of Health reported that as of Friday, there had been 917 deaths and more than 14,600 were hospitalized with cholera-like symptoms. That is up from the 724 deaths and 11,125 hospitalizations reported a few days before.

The disease has been found in 6 of Haiti’s 10 provinces, known as departments, and is most severe where it originated, in Artibonite, which accounts for nearly two-thirds of the deaths.

Several epidemiologists have said the disease has not peaked and will likely worsen and break out in other regions of the country, with United Nations health officials estimating about 270,000 may be sickened in the coming years

Where are Mr. Obama and Mr. Clinton? It seems like only yesterday they were assuring the world that they would not forget Haiti. But it looks like Haiti has been forgotten.

And, lest we forget, Mr. Clinton is the United Nation’s special ambassador to Haiti. So why is he making movies in Thailand while this is going on, instead of helping out?

Hospitals in Port-au-Prince, where more than one million earthquake refugees live in congested, squalid tent encampments, are overflowing with patients exhibiting cholera symptoms, and the death toll there has reached 27. The disease was first reported in the capital on Nov. 8.

President René Préval, at a conference on the disease on Sunday in Port-au-Prince, urged people to wash their hands frequently and drink only potable water, The Associated Press reported. But even before the earthquake, most of the population lacked access to clean water and sanitation.

And yet somehow they never had any cholera outbreaks for the last forty years. (See below.)

Cholera, a bacteria that thrives in feces-contaminated water, causes severe diarrhea and vomiting that can dehydrate and kill its victims in hours without treatment. The rate of severe cases, about 30 to 40 percent, is far higher in Haiti than the 25 percent in a typical outbreak because of extreme poverty, unsanitary conditions and the fact that cholera has not been there for 40 years.

“When we go around and give advice about hygiene, they say, ‘Let me have soap, I can’t afford it,’ ” said Leonard Doyle, a spokesman for the International Organization for Migration, an agency that is distributing water purification tablets and cleaning supplies.

On Friday, the United Nations requested $164 million from humanitarian agencies and donors to put in place a strategy to help the government respond to the disease. The largest piece of the plan is $89 million for clean water, sanitation and hygiene

Being the good machine politicians that they are, the United Nations never lets a crisis go to waste.

And never mind asking why the UN couldn’t buy soap and drinking water with the money that poured in for Haiti after the earthquake back in January.

Maybe that’s something Mr. Clinton could look into, once his filming wraps.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 15th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “Cholera Deaths Approach 1,000 In Haiti”

  1. oldpuppydixie says:

    Only cholera? Too bad….if it had been bubonic plague, democrats would have invited them all to the US!

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