Haiti records “lowest number of cases and cholera-related deaths” says UN

cholera_generic_368426534NEW YORK, United States, Friday May 30, 2014, CMC – Haiti and the United Nations have vowed to continue with efforts aimed at eliminating Cholera from the French-speaking Caribbean country as reports from the first months of 2014 reflect the lowest number of cases and cholera-related deaths since the beginning of the epidemic.

The UN said that a high-level committee for the elimination of cholera in Haiti was held on Wednesday and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe said that the government’s activities and those of the UN and other partners to combat cholera are “bearing fruit”.

According to the latest figures from April, “concerted Haitian and international efforts have succeeded in significantly reducing the toll of the epidemic,” the UN said.

It said the number of cases has been reduced by 75 per cent in the first trimester of 2014 compared to the same period last year, and that fatality rates are below the one per cent target set by the UN World Health Organization (WHO).

In spite of that progress, Lamothe said cholera continued to be “an emergency that required the development of all possible strategies to eliminate the disease in Haiti”.

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti, Sandra Honoré, emphasized the determination of the UN to continue to support the Haitian Government?s efforts to improve public health and access for the population to drinking water and sanitation.

Honoré referred to the upcoming launch of the total sanitation campaign, which will allow schools and health centres in targeted communities to have adequate water and sanitation infrastructures.

The UN said committee members welcomed reciprocal commitments for the intensification of efforts in the fight to eliminate cholera in Haiti.

The UN said that  Haiti’s 10-year National Plan for the elimination of cholera requires US$2.2 billion through large-scale development of public health and sanitation infrastructure.

To support the most urgent activities outlined in the government’s plan, the UN said it is appealing for some US$70 million for the next two years to continue the short-term strategy of containing transmission of cholera, of which US$34 million has been mobilized so far.

The UN said Secretary-General’s Senior Coordinator for the Cholera Response in Haiti, Pedro Medrano, continues to contact donors to obtain the resources needed to eradicate cholera in the country through universal water, sanitation and hygiene coverage.

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