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
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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Video Washington Week: Focus on Cuba, North Korea

President Obama, lawmakers out of town for holidays but many remain transfixed with US-Cuba thaw, Sony Pictures hack
More

Health Minister Named as Haiti's New Interim Prime Minister

Announcement is part of effort to resolve a mounting political crisis over long-delayed elections
More

Kerry: US-Cuba Thaw Will Advance Interests for Both

Secretary of state says 11 million people of Cuba have waited far too long - more than half a century - to 'fulfill their democratic aspirations' and build closer ties with rest of world
More

Cuba's Famed Cigars Get a Foot in Door of US Market

Under new rules to be implemented soon, US will make it easier for some Americans to travel to Cuba and they will be able to return with $100 worth of alcohol, tobacco
More

Tourism, Farm Groups See Bigger Business With Cuba

'We are the closest major food producer that Cuba has,' an American Farm Bureau Federation spokesman notes
More

Castro Lauds US Outreach, Says Cuba to Remain Communist

In speech to lawmakers, Cuba's president says economic reforms will be accelerated, yet changes will be gradual
More