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Cholera epidemic in Haiti claims over 700 lives since October 2022, health authorities report

cholera

Posted: Saturday, June 10, 2023. 2:10 pm CST.

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Over 700 individuals have died in Haiti due to a resurgence of cholera since October last year, according to the latest update from Haitian health authorities. The fatal cholera outbreak first appeared in the Caribbean nation in 2010 and has since claimed thousands of lives.

Dr. Samson Marseille, Director for the Epidemiology, Laboratories, and Research Department at the Health and Population Ministry, confirmed that the number of cholera cases has sharply risen following recent torrential rains and subsequent floods. “Since the devastating flooding in the country, we’ve observed an increase in the number of cholera cases, so we are intensifying our efforts aimed at combating the disease,” Dr. Marseille told the Haitian-Caribbean News Network.

The health authorities are set to launch new awareness campaigns emphasizing behavioral changes in hygiene practices, a crucial aspect in controlling the spread of cholera. “We plan to warn people about the need for behavioral change when it comes to hygiene precautions. Anyone with symptoms associated with cholera such as severe or watery diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, or dehydration should immediately go to one of our Cholera Treatment Centres,” Dr. Marseille added.

The 2010 cholera epidemic that first struck Haiti killed 10,174 people, and since October last year, 726 more have died, including 26 between June 1 and 5. The past weekend alone saw 24 deaths from cholera. From October 1, 2022, to June 5, 2023, health authorities reported 45,248 suspected cases of cholera, 3,007 confirmed cases, and 41,557 hospitalizations. The average age for hospitalized cholera victims is 17 years old, revealing a significant impact on the nation’s younger population.

The cholera outbreak was initially introduced by international peacekeepers, following which the United Nations pledged to provide funding to manage the situation. This included plans to purchase water purification systems to safeguard a population largely without access to potable water. However, there seems to be no significant progress made in this regard.

The cholera resurgence signifies a major public health crisis in Haiti, placing an already vulnerable population under increased strain. The Haitian health authorities’ renewed efforts aim to control the spread and mortality of the disease, but international assistance appears vital for the long-term eradication of cholera in the country.

 

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