Cholera: UN Supports Government in Haiti

Photo credit: Relief Web

The United Nations Organization (UNO) is supporting the government in Haiti to quell an outbreak of cholera. This is as a result of the confirmation of a positive case around the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The case was identified using a surveillance mechanism. The cholera surveillance mechanism was established by the Haitian government and it was supported by the UN.

The United Nations is currently monitoring the situation while working with Haitian authorities to bring an emergency response to a possible outbreak. It’s focused on limiting the spread of the disease and on informing families how to apply immediate lifesaving action in their communities.

Additional efforts will include expanded surveillance, increased water and sanitation provision, the opening of cholera treatment centers and the reinforcement of case management.

But, for now, due to the ensuing environment of insecurity and lawlessness around the capital city, it is necessary that the teams are guaranteed safe access to areas where cases have been confirmed or suspected.

The UN Secretary-General has said there needed to be “immediate and unfettered access on the ground to facilitate the delivery of fuel for humanitarian purposes.”

An outbreak of waterborne disease started in 2010. It was widely believed to have been imported by UN peacekeepers.

The UN is requesting Haitians to boil water for drinking and cooking, wash hands regularly with soap and boiled or chlorinated water and protect food from pests.

People who exhibit symptoms of acute watery diarrhea and vomiting have been asked to seek immediate medical assistance. They were also asked to stay hydrated by using oral rehydration salts.

Infants should also be given a minimum of half a litre of oral rehydration salts per day. The statement also adds that children should receive one litre. In the case of adults, they should consume three litres per day.

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