By Joseph Guyler C. Delva
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, (HCNN) – A resurgence of cholera in Haiti has caused several hundred people to die, in the crisis-torn Caribbean country, since the beginning of the year, determining health authorities to redouble their efforts to cope with the epidemic that has already claimed thousands of lives since its first outbreak in 2010, officials say.
Dr Samson Marseille, director of the Epidemiology, Laboratories and Research Department at the health and population ministry, said at least 726 people have been killed by cholera since October 2022, when the disease reappeared.
” Since the recent torrential rains that have caused devastating flooding in the country, we’ve observed an increase in the number of cholera cases; so we are intensifying our efforts aimed at combating the disease,” Marseille told the Haitian-Caribbean News Network.
“We plan to launch new awareness-raising campaigns to warn people about the need for behavioural change when it comes to hygiene precautions; anyone with symptoms associated with cholera such as severe or watery diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, or dehydration … should immediately go to one of our Cholera Treatment Centers,” Dr Marseille insisted.
According to figures released by health authorities, the cholera epidemic first hit Haiti in October 2010 and had left 10,174 people killed, but with the disease resurgence in October 2022, 726 deadly victims were registered, including 26 from June 1 to 5, 2023, following natural disasters in which at least 54 people perished in several regions of the country.
Figures released by Health officials show that 24 people died, last weekend, of cholera, but at least two other deaths confirmed by local authorities in the South-Western Jeremie town and Baie-de-Henne in the North-West region were not mentioned in the official report.
- 45,248 cholera suspected cases, 3007 confirmed cases;
- 41,557 cases of hospitalization have been registered from October 1, 2022, up to June 5, 2023, according to health officials who spoke to HCNN.
The age average for hospitalized cholera victims is 17 years old, officials said.
In the aftermath of the first outbreak of the disease, initially brought by international peacekeepers, the United Nations had promised to make funds available to invest, among other things, in water purification systems to protect the population many of whom lack access to potable water. But nothing seems to have been done in that regard.