News / Americas

Haiti Cholera Operations Seriously Underfunded

A woman suffering from cholera symptoms is helped at an earthquake refugee camp in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 8, 2011
A woman suffering from cholera symptoms is helped at an earthquake refugee camp in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 8, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +
Lisa Schlein

The United Nations is holding a special meeting with donor countries to drum up support for its cholera treatment and control operations in Haiti. It says it has received less than half of the $175 million it needs to carry out its life-saving programs in the country.

The United Nations reports cholera cases throughout Haiti are slowly declining. But says the emergency is far from over, as the death rate in remote rural areas remains very high.

Latest figures from the Haitian government cite more than 231,000 reported cases and more than 4,500 cholera deaths since the epidemic began in October.

Health agencies say this is the first outbreak of cholera in Haiti in at least 100 years. But the agencies warn now that it is present in the country, cholera will continue to be a problem for months and years to come.

U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs spokeswoman Elizabeth Byrs says it is critical to strengthen treatment programs. She says the shortage of non-governmental agencies to treat the sick in difficult to reach mountain villages is very worrisome.

“There are two aspects of this problem,” Byrs said. “Some NGOs are working in emergency relief assistance. And, these NGOs have finished their job and now they leave. But some of them need funding, they have not even enough funding to implement their projects. That is why we urgently need the money for our appeal, which is $175 million.”  

The World Health Organization says it is trying to keep the anti-cholera efforts from collapsing. The U.N. says it has received about $80 million, less than half of its appeal.

WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib says her agency is working with the Haitian Ministry of Health to replace NGOs that were running cholera centers. She says these vital projects are increasingly being integrated in the country’s overall health-management programs.

“There is an exit strategy put in place by WHO as the lead health organization with the Ministry of Health that the cholera centers can be run by the local health authorities ... at the beginning, it was a new disease for the country,” Chaib said. “So, they needed really to learn how to manage it. Now, it is done. Many people know how to not get infected by cholera.”  

Chaib says WHO is concerned about the possible spread of cholera during the upcoming Carnival season from contaminated food and drink. She says health authorities are running an information campaign warning people of the dangers and providing tips on how they can protect themselves from getting the disease.

When cholera first erupted, mortality rates were as high as nine percent. National mortality rates are now down to two percent. And, spokeswoman Chaib says the World Health Organization is working to bring that rate to less than one percent.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also called for an end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians
More

Audit Finds US Housing Aid Program in Haiti Falls Short

Results show post-earthquake USAID program has delivered only a quarter of planned number of homes at nearly twice the budgeted cost
More

Mourning, Memories in Garcia Marquez's Languid Hometown

Nobel Prize-winning author's early years in Aracataca inspired characters, tales for major novel
More

Powerful Earthquake Rattles Mexico

US Geological Survey says quake measuring 7.5 on Richter scale, was centered in the western state of Guerrero, north of Acapulco beach resort
More

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support
More

Colombian Novelist Garcia Marquez Dies at 87

Author of 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' won Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982
More