Cholera cases in Haiti drop by 75 per cent

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A cholera-infected child cries after receiving medical treatment in L’Estere, Haiti. An outbreak of the disease began in October 2010. UN Photo/UNICEF/Marco Dormino

International efforts have succeeded in significantly reducing the toll of cholera in Haiti, according to the latest official figures from April this year.

The number of cases has been reduced by 75 per cent in the first trimester of 2014 compared to the same period last year, and fatality rates are below the one per cent target set by the World Health Organization.

However, cholera in Haiti is still an emergency issue because of deficiencies in water, sanitation and health systems.

UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric said United Nations officials and Haitian authorities met and spoke for the first time on the issue.

“From Haiti, our colleagues report that the High-level committee for the elimination of cholera in Haiti, a joint effort of the Government of Haiti and the United Nations, met for the first time yesterday, in Port-au-Prince.  Participants included Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in the country, Sandra Honoré, as well as the Special Coordinator for the cholera response, Pedro Medrano, and other government and UN officials. They discussed the current efforts against cholera in Haiti, from operational strategies to sensitization campaigns."  (32″)

Mr Dujarric said that Haiti has fallen further behind the rest of the region in sanitation coverage since 1990, with the most excluded population in rural areas.

More than a third of the population lacks safe access to water.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration:  1’35″

 

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