Haiti now faces cholera horror
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. –