Almost 470,000 cases of cholera, including 6,595 deaths, have been reported in Haiti since an epidemic of the disease erupted in the Caribbean country one year ago, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) reported today.
Some 250,000 of the cholera patients had been hospitalized over the past year, the agency’s spokesperson, Tarek Jasarevic, told reporters in Geneva, adding that the disease could infect 75,000 another by the end of the year if the current trend continues, bringing the cumulative total number of cases to about half a million.
After a decline in weekly cholera incidents in August, the number of cases rose in September, with South and Nippes departments seeing significant increases, along with Nord, Centre, and the capital Port-au-Prince.
Mr. Jasarevic said that with heavy rainfall forecast this month in the departments of South, South-East, North and other parts of the country, conditions favourable to the spread of cholera and other diseases water-borne diseases are expected to arise.
There are currently 37 cholera treatment centres in Haiti, 269 cholera treatment units and 766 oral rehydration posts.
According to Mr. Jasarevic, a number of WHO’s partners had withdrawn or were scaling down their operations in Haiti due to a lack of funding. The agency has urged the humanitarian community and donors to remain vigilant as long term and coordinated cholera response may be necessary.