Cholera cases increasing in Haiti and Dominican Republic, UN reports

24 June 2011

Cases of cholera are on the rise in Haiti and neighbouring Dominican Republic, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) reported today, saying more than 18,000 new cases in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, have been recorded recently.

“This increase may be partly due to the beginning of the rainy season and the flooding that hit the capital,” WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva.

“Data from the Ministry of Public Health of Haiti showed that since the beginning of the outbreak til 12 June, there had been 344,623 cases of cholera and 5,397 deaths,” he added. The cholera epidemic in Haiti first erupted last October.

In the Dominican Republic, the health ministry reported that since the first cases were reported in the country late last year, there have been 1,727 confirmed cases, including 46 deaths. The ministry is continuing its epidemiological research and response, which included improving water quality and sanitation services, and public awareness campaigns on prevention.

Mr. Jasarevic said that the occupancy rate of the 2,300 beds in cholera treatment centres in Haiti and the cholera treatment units in the Port-au-Prince Metropolitan area was about 72 per cent.

Access to clean water and proper sanitation in Haiti remains the main challenge in fighting the epidemic, according to WHO.

 

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UN and partners responding to rising cholera cases in Haiti’s Ouest province

Health partners in Haiti are responding promptly to increasing cases of cholera in the Ouest department to ensure that the new infections do not spread to the capital, Port-au-Prince, a spokesperson for the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said today.