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Cholera outbreak in Haiti kills hundreds

The outbreak of cholera three months ago killed 452 people in Haiti. This was confirmed by the Ministry of Health on Monday (9th). 

According to the latest official report, Haitian health authorities have confirmed a total of 1,570 cases while trying to verify another 22,575 probable cases. 

The number of patients hospitalized with symptoms has increased to 18,360 since the first case was reported on October 3, 2021. 

The outbreak of cholera three months ago killed 452 people in Haiti (Photo internet reproduction)

The median age of those hospitalized is 20 years and the incidence is particularly high in children aged 1 to 9 years, who account for about 7,200 probable cases. 

Then there is the hunger crisis. In this regard, Prime Minister Ariel Henry has announced that the country neighboring the Dominican Republic will receive financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the coming days to respond to the food shortage. 

According to the head of the executive branch, Haiti is one of the first countries to benefit from this program – known as the “food shock window” – which will allow Haiti to implement “a series of social protection measures,” he said in a message on Twitter.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti, Ulrika Richardson, has warned that the spread of the cholera outbreak in Haiti has shown a “worrying trend” since it was declared in early October. “Not only are we observing a steady increase in cholera cases, but also the spread to other regions,” Richardson said at a press conference in New York. 

“Eight of the 10 regions have confirmed cases of cholera, which is a worrying development for us and for the country,” she added. 

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported in late November that about 40% of cholera cases confirmed in the past two months are in children, warning of the particular frequency of this outbreak in areas already suffering from generalized malnutrition.

Richardson lamented that only 16% of emergency aid pledged last month has materialized. Of the US$145 million needed to support 1.4 million people, only US$23.5 million has been received so far. 

“The need for humanitarian aid is growing all the time,” she lamented, pointing out that the United Nations is preparing a plan that puts the need for aid at €719 million for the coming year. 

Still, Richardson has highlighted the successes, noting that half the schools have reopened despite the challenges. “You can imagine that we have logistical and security challenges to deal with, but we can be there and help people.” 

In Haiti, the cholera outbreak comes on top of a humanitarian crisis fueled by the economic situation and gang violence. The insecurity has led to massive displacement of a total of 155,000 people.

With information from latinapress

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