Posted by With AFP on Saturday, January 20, 2018 Under: Health
The deadly cholera epidemic that has plagued Haiti since autumn 2010 could end in 2018, according to Unicef, given the small number of patients identified across the country at the beginning of the year.
Only about 100 suspected cases per week were recorded in January, the lowest level since the beginning of the epidemic. In addition, even during the rainy season, no case outbreak was reported in 2017.
"It is possible to eliminate cholera this year: it is now or never and it is an opportunity that we should not miss," wants to convince Marc Vincent, representative of Unicef in Haiti.
"We have asked the government to convene all partners to see how we could really take advantage of this historic moment to achieve elimination," added Vincent, hoping for a quick response from the Haitian authorities.
Cholera appeared in Haiti in October 2010 following the contamination of the Artibonite river, Haiti's longest, by Nepalese peacekeepers deployed as part of the UN mission Minustah.
The spread of the epidemic has been explosive given the very precarious sanitary conditions.
Since the outbreak of cholera, about 10,000 Haitians have died of the disease and more than 800,000 people have been infected.
The reduction in prevalence currently observed is the result of Haitian outreach work, both in terms of intervention and prevention and education of good hygiene practices.
"All the rapid response teams on the ground are composed of Haitians who are committed because they want to eliminate cholera themselves: they do this for their children, for their community," said Marc Vincent.
For the moment, the financing of these actions at the level of each municipality is ensured only for the next six months.
"Our concern is that if we do not continue to fund these teams until the last case of cholera, then we risk having an outbreak, an explosion of cases," warns the representative of Unicef.
Previous campaigns to eliminate cholera in Haiti have never been adequately funded, international donors are more responsive to emergency fundraising, when cases multiply.
By apologizing to Haitians for its responsibility in the introduction of the epidemic, the UN launched in October 2016 a call for international funding to eliminate cholera. Currently, out of the $ 400 million needed, only 10 percent was paid by UN member states.
In : Health