Friday, May 2, 2014

As dry season ends in Haiti, significant gains seen in fight against cholera, UN official says

UN News Centre: Significant gains in the fight against the cholera epidemic in Haiti have been recorded as the dry season ends and the United Nations continues to support the Government's comprehensive strategy of monitoring, rapid response and planning for long-term solutions, a top UN official in the impoverished country says.

“Since the beginning of the dry season, we have seen registered the lowest number of cases and deaths since the start of the epidemic, with a reduction of 75 per cent of cases in the first trimester of this year against the same period last year,” Peter de Clercq, the Deputy Special Representative for the Secretary-General in Haiti, told the UN News Centre.

“That is very good news and reflects our efforts so far are working,” he said. “Of course, every case of cholera is one too many. Every person that dies of cholera is one too many and is unacceptable and will cause us to work even harder to combat the disease,” he added.

Because the disease retracts to limited locations during the dry season, according to the UN Country Team, it presents a window of opportunity for the UN and its partners to target the highest risk areas with surveillance, analysis and rapid response for treatment and sanitation actions; work that continues throughout the year across wider sites of conc

“Interventions are based on identifying where cholera occurs; then very rapid intervention teams go in and deploy a number of different measures including identifying, isolating and a whole range of water and sanitation-related activities that improve the environment and reduce the risk of the disease spreading,” Mr. de Clercq said....

The UN Mission in Haiti’s Community Violence Reduction section (CVR) continued its joint pilot project with the Direction Nationale de l’Eau Potable et de l’Assainissement (DINEPA) to install water filter systems and provide hygiene training in Cité Soleil, Port au Prince. Photo: Logan Abassi/MINUSTAH

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