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Cholera worsens in Haiti

BARRY ALLEYNE, [email protected]

Cholera worsens in Haiti

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GENEVA – The World Health organization (WHO) said yesterday that 1,648 persons had died as a result of the cholera outbreak in Haiti and that more than 72,000 others had been treated for the water borne disease which first surfaced in late October.
The case mortality rate now stands at 2.3 per cent, Fadela Chaib, the WHO spokesperson told reporters.
She said there were now 40 cholera treatment centres in the country with an average capacity of 100 to 200 beds each. Chaib said that the 61 cholera treatments units – small units established in hospitals and health centres – had an average capacity of 20 beds each.
Ten additional cholera treatment centres and 39 cholera treatments units are required, as well as 350 more doctors, 2,000 nurses, 2,200 support staff and 30,000 community health workers, Chaib said. The community health workers would mostly work in rural villages, where needs are greatest, she added.
Meanwhile, a survey carried out among 37 aid groups providing health care by Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population has identified key challenges to the cholera response, Elisabeth Byrs, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said.
These include the removal of the bodies of the dead, the disposal of medical waste, the identification of sites on which to set up health centres, and a lack of trained personnel. Byrs said some US$32.9 million of the US$164 million humanitarian agencies are seeking for the cholera emergency has been received as of yesterday.