Cholera deaths spike in Haiti

Monday, March 14, 2016

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PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) — Haiti says it has recorded 96 people have died from cholera during the first two months of this year.

The Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) said there were also 7,782 cases of the disease during the period January 1 to February 27.

But it said that the trend is towards a decrease in the number of cases following the outbreak which the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention described as the worst epidemic of cholera in recent history.

Haitians have blamed UN peacekeeping troops from Nepal who they said carried strains of the disease with them, contaminating a large portion of the country’s drinking water.

The United Nations initially denied any role in the outbreak, and has refused to redress complaints, claiming immunity under a 1946 convention. In January, a US judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by human rights groups seeking compensation for Haitian victims.

The MSPP said that the decline has been observed every week despite the recent rains.

"The humanitarian community continues to support the Haitian government in its efforts not only to ensure a rapid and effective response to the cholera epidemic in improving access to drinking water services, sanitation and health, but also to reduce the vulnerability of populations living in the most at-risk cholera areas," the ministry said.

In addition, the Ministry of Health reports that 18 communities, including Cap-Haïtien, Limbé, Pilatte, Port Margot and some sections of the capital, remain on red alert.

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