News in Brief 11 October 2016 (AM) – Geneva

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A camp for displaced persons in Port au Prince, Haiti, where residents get bleach and water purification tablets for cholera prevention. Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi

One million cholera vaccines ready to tackle Haiti cholera spike

One million doses of cholera vaccine are to be sent to Haiti in the aftermath of the devastation left by Hurricane Matthew, UN health experts said Tuesday.

The disease has claimed more than 9,000 lives since 2010.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned that nearly 30,000 cases have already been identified this year.

Here's WHO cholera expert Dr Dominique Legros.

"The important thing is that we have seen a very sharp decrease between the beginning of the outbreak in 2010 and 2013-2014, with figures which were much, much less, but since 2014 every year we have seen again an increase of cases. And 2016 we have seen more cases than 2015. The reason is simple: these people still lack access to clean water."

The hurricane has accelerated the existing cholera epidemic in the Caribbean country, which has seen almost 800,000 cases in the last six years.

Latest government figures indicate that hurricane Matthew claimed 372 lives in the south-east and north-west of the country, and affected more than two million people.

Polio immunisation campaign targets 41 million children in Lake Chad basin

A massive vaccination campaign is under way in the Lake Chad region of Africa to contain a polio outbreak in north-east Nigeria.

UNICEF, the UN Children's Fund has called for renewed international support, warning that 41 million children are at risk.

The agency's Christophe Boulierac highlighted that populations in the region which covers Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria are already reeling from violence linked to Boko Haram extremists.

"The re-emergence of polio after two years with no recorded cases is a huge concern in an area that is already in crisis. The population fleeing conflict are on the move within the sub-region which is raising concerns that the virus could spread across borders."

Nearly 39,000 health-workers have been mobilised to go into areas recently liberated by the Nigerian army in the north-east of the country.

They've also been tasked with reaching an estimated 400,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

UK's announcement on Calais Jungle children welcomed

A decision by the UK government to allow children into the country who've been living at an infamous shelter on the French coast has been welcomed by the UN Children's Fund, (UNICEF).

The UK authorities' announcement comes ahead of the planned closure of the so-called "Jungle" encampment outside the port town of Calais.

Here's UNICEF spokesperson Sarah Crowe.

"With the imminent demolition of the so-called Jungle in the north of France, UNICEF very much welcomes the announcement by the UK Home Office to take children with family ties to the UK before the bulldozers come in within the next week."

The UN agency says that it does not know how many children will be relocated, and that it has yet to learn how the French authorities intend to help the remaining youngsters from the camp who do not have family in the UK.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 3’09″




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