Friday, April 4, 2014

Senior UN official urges donor community to ramp up efforts to tackle cholera in Haiti

UN News Centre: The United Nations official tasked with coordinating the response to the cholera epidemic in Haiti says the country is not receiving the international attention it deserves, and is calling on the donor community to scale up support to combat the disease.

“Haiti is not receiving the attention of the international community, particularly the donor community,” Pedro Medrano told the UN News Centre, as he reported on a recent trip during which he met with officials in Canada, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands.

“It is clear that this epidemic is not on their radar screen,” added Mr. Medrano, who is the Secretary-General’s Senior Coordinator for the Cholera Response in Haiti. Even if we are making progress, and we have a lower number of cases today, we are not out of the woods.

The cholera outbreak which has affected Haiti since October 2010 is still considered the largest in the Western Hemisphere, with more than 700,000 cases and over 8,500 deaths.

Mr. Medrano travelled to the donor countries to try and raise their understanding of what the UN is attempting to do to eliminate cholera in Haiti. “I think that it is clear that any country with the number of people suffering last year – 65,000 new cases, and we have more than 700,000 cases in total – would consider this an emergency,” he added...

A Haitian family waits outside University Hospital after being treated (unclear for what), Jan. 20, 2010, in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. US Department of Defense photo

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