Haiti and mounting Cholera deaths
Kanako Mita and Noriko Watanabe
Modern Tokyo Times
Haiti faces countless severe problems. Hence, the latest cholera crisis is challenging the weak medical infrastructure of this country.
The latest figures state that 161 people have died from cholera. Also, approximately 7,600 people remain hospitalized in various parts of the country from cholera.
Director Dr. Carissa Etienne (Pan American Health Organization – PAHO) said, “This is a dangerous situation, and PAHO urges all countries to increase vigilance, while we support Haiti in providing life-saving care to patients, deploying health workers, and facilitating access to fuel for health facilities.”
Voice of America reports, “The worsening situation led the United Nations to announce Tuesday that it, along with Haiti’s government and other partners, was seeking $146 million to help fight cholera. At least half a million people in Haiti are at risk of contracting the disease, according to PAHO and the World Health Organization.”
UN News reports, “The cholera crisis has hit already vulnerable populations hardest. The latest food security analysis for Haiti shows that 4.7 million people, nearly half the population, are experiencing high levels of food insecurity, with 19,200 people living in an official disaster situation, the first time this has happened in recent history.”
People from Haiti have mixed feelings about international agencies concerning many scandals. Thus, the history of the United Nations in Haiti is also a cause of pain and suffering.
Reuters reports, “Girls as young as 11 were sexually abused and impregnated by U.N. peacekeepers in Haiti and abandoned to raise their children alone, according to testimonies from more than 2,000 residents.”
The UN was also in denial about spreading cholera and killing approximately 8,300 Haitians. The New York Times (2012) reports: “In telling the truth, the U.N. could have gained the trust of the population and facilitated the fight against cholera,” said Dr. Renaud Piarroux, who led an early investigation into the outbreak. “But that was bungled.”
The latest cholera crisis comes at a time of heightened tensions in Haiti. Protests continue in Port-au-Prince against the deployment of possible international forces. Therefore, the solutions in Haiti are nigh impossible – given past experiences.
Modern Tokyo Times recently said, “Haiti is the poorest nation regionally and one of the poorest in the world. Recent child deaths from cholera, malnourishment in parts of Haiti, and other health concerns are alarming. However, past shameful child abuse scandals have left behind memories of fear.”
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