According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on October 20, 2010, an outbreak of cholera was confirmed in Haiti for the first time in more than a century, ten months after the catastrophic earthquake that killed over 200,000 people and displaced over 1 million.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, more than 815,000 cholera cases have been reported, including approximately 9700 deaths.
In 2017 through October, Haiti saw a dramatic decrease in cases compared to 2016 during the same period.
From January to October 2017, Haiti recorded 11,916 suspected cases of cholera and 118 deaths, compared to 35,203 cases and 369 deaths for the same period in 2016 – a decrease of 66% and 68% respectively.
This illustrates the continuation of the downward trend of cholera as a result of the efforts of coordination and response actors, the surveillance system, treatment and vaccination campaigns, especially in the Southern region. However, there was a slight outbreak of Cholera in Artibonite department in October with 60.34% of cases for that month reported in the department.
Why does cholera persist in Haiti? This is a question posed by the UN and here are some of the reasons they give:
Underfunding of national plan of elimination of cholera: As of October 2017, only 4.8 million dollars out of the 34.5 million dollars requested in the HRP has been funded. The Multi-Partner Trust Fund (UN Haiti Cholera Response MPTF), put in place to collect and manage resources in response to cholera in Haiti, also raised 2.7 million4 dollars. In addition, to maintain response activities, United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) granted a loan of 8 million dollars to UNICEF.
In addition to the underfunding for Haiti, three other reasons are given to include a weak water and sanitation infrastructure, lack of access to quality medical care and high population density and mobility to urban areas.
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- Chikungunya, Cholera And Other Diseases In Haiti: An ‘On The Ground’ Perspective With Haitian Hearts, Dr. John Carroll