The number of cholera cases in Haiti increased to two or more times the numbers observed prior to Hurricane Matthew, which landed on Oct. 4, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported today.

Image/Dr John Carroll
Image/Dr John Carroll

Through the end of October, a total of 34,656 suspected cholera cases, including 339 related deaths have been reported in Haiti.

Since Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti October 4, more than 5,800 suspected cholera cases have been reported by the Ministry of Health.

PAHO reports the departments of Grand Anse and Sud contributed 23% and 26% respectively of the total cholera cases reported nationwide. These Departments correspond to 4% and 7% of the total population of Haiti, respectively.

Haiti’s Ministry of Health (MSPP) is nearing completion of its vaccination campaign against cholera, having reached more than 729,000 people with vaccines in Sud and Grand Anse departments–the areas hardest hit by the hurricane.

Ministry of Health early reports show that vaccination coverage reached 94 percent in Grande Anse and 90 percent in Sud Department, but the communes of Moron (Grande Anse), Port-a-Piment, and Chardonnieres (Sud) had lower than average coverage.

Haiti’s Minister of Public Health, Dr. Daphne Benoit, noted when the campaign began that “The vaccine is an additional intervention which will help us to save lives, but does not replace the efforts that the government supports in the field of water and sanitation.”

LISTEN: Inside Haiti: A discussion with Dr. John Carroll of ‘Haitian Hearts’