Haiti now faces cholera hor­ror

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A WEEK after be­ing dev­as­tated by a hur­ri­cane, Haiti faces a grow­ing cholera out­break that threat­ens to turn its dis­as­ter even more deadly.

In Port Sa­lut, a smashed-up town on Haiti’s south­ern penin­sula that was among those that bore the brunt of Hur­ri­cane Matthew – the Caribbean’s most pow­er­ful storm in nearly a decade – fears are ris­ing.

The town’s sole hos­pi­tal on Oc­to­ber 9 recorded its first death from the dis­ease, a man of undis­closed age.

An­other nine pa­tients brought in within the past two days are be­ing treated for the ill­ness, which is caught from con­tam­i­nated wa­ter.

Other cholera deaths have been re­ported in dif­fer­ent parts of south­ern Haiti.

The out­break is es­pe­cially alarm­ing for this des­ti­tute trop­i­cal na­tion. In the wake of a cat­a­strophic earth­quake in 2010, cholera was in­ad­ver­tently in­tro­duced by United Na­tions peace­keep­ers and went on to kill around 10,000 peo­ple.

Civil de­fence of­fi­cials have put the death toll from the hur­ri­cane it­self at 336, al­though some of­fi­cials said it topped 400.

Dr Steven­son Des­ravines, the di­rec­tor of the Port Sa­lut hos­pi­tal, said that cholera was rapidly be­com­ing a “fa­tal danger” for the town and sur­round­ing area.

“It’s some­thing that is start­ing,” he said, adding that his fa­cil­ity lacked per­son­nel, medicine and equip­ment to tackle that and other health prob­lems after the hur­ri­cane.

Dr Des­ravines said that so far he had re­ceived no help from the United Na­tions or other aid or­gan­i­sa­tions in the coun­try.

“We are wait­ing for more per­son­nel, more sup­plies, in­clud­ing in­tra­venous bags, medicines and clean­ing prod­ucts,” he said.

Be­fore the cholera death, the hos­pi­tal had reg­is­tered three pa­tients de­ceased from their in­juries sus­tained on Oc­to­ber 4 when the storm struck with tremen­dous fury. –

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