Cholera Down but High in Rural Areas
- Saturday, February 19, 2011 10:59 AM
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The cholera outbreak that began in Artibonite, Haiti last October appears to be diminishing nationwide. Statistics have shown a decreasing mortality rate but this trend has plateaued as the death rate in the rural provinces remain alarmingly high.
Nationally, the mortality was as high as 9% but is now down to 2% but in the rural provinces, more than one-in-ten people who contract the disease die; nearly 15%.
The Preval administration has tallied 231,070 reported cases and 4,549 deaths since the epidemic began in October.
"It's there (in rural areas) that we absolutely have to strengthen our efforts," said Elisabeth Byrs, a spokeswoman for the U.N. humanitarian coordination office. "For that we need money."
The U.N. itself has been accused of starting the cholera epidemic in Haiti through bad sanitation. Haiti's cholera strain came from South East Asia and photos and videos surfaced showing Nepalese UN Soldiers disposing waste in public rivers. The UN has since not claimed or denied responsibility for the epidemic and has sent its own team of experts to Haiti to investigate.