Health officials in Haiti on Thursday said they were preparing for a likely surge in cholera cases in the wake of Hurricane Matthew which severely damaged water supplies and sanitation systems in the Caribbean nation. The fiercest Caribbean storm in nearly a decade has killed at least 140 people, most of them in hardest-hit Haiti where rescue workers were struggling to reach remote areas due to flooded roads, collapsed bridges and power outages.
“Due to massive flooding and its impact on water and sanitation infrastructure, cholera cases are expected to surge after Hurricane Matthew and through the normal rainy season until the start of 2017,” the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said in a statement.
Even before the storm hit Haiti this week, the impoverished nation was struggling to stem the water-borne disease. More than 9,000 Haitians have been killed, and 790,000 have been infected, since a cholera outbreak began in 2010, according to PAHO.
- Twitter War Between Congress Leader Amarinder Singh & Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
- Life Of Actor-Dancer Ashwini Ekbote Who Died During A Performance
- Idea Exchange With Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
- PM Narendra Modi Bats For Equal Rights : Here What He Said On Triple Talaq
- Uncle Shivpal Targets Akhilesh, Claims CM Told Him He Will Form Another Party
- Pakistan Continues To Violate Ceasefire In RS Pura
- Samajwadi Party’s internal fight divides SP
- Cyrus Mistry Removed As Chairman of Tata Sons: Here’s What Happened
- Wreath Laying Ceremony Of Slain Soldier Sushil Kumar Observed
- Virat Kohli Powers India Home With Unbeaten 154
- Pakistan Resorts To Heavy Mortar Shelling, 1 BSF Jawan Dead, 3 Injured
- Bigg Boss 10 Weekend Ka Vaar: Priyanka Jagga Evicted
- Here’s How Much Army Welfare Fund Has After MNS Demanded Rs 5 Cr To Cast Pak Artistes
- Shiv Sena Chief Uddhav Thackeray Take A Jibe At MNS: Here’s What He Said
- Samajwadi Party Crisis Deepens: Here’s How It Will Impact UP Polls
Infection is caused by drinking and using contaminated water that triggers diarrhea and vomiting and can cause severe dehydration which if not treated quickly can be fatal.
Children are particularly at risk, the United Nations’ children’s agency (UNICEF) has warned.
“Water-borne diseases are the first threat to children,” UNICEF said this week. “Our first priority is to make sure children have enough safe water.”
This year, more than 27,000 suspected cases of cholera have been reported in Haiti, an estimated one-third among children, UNICEF said.
Fewer than one in five people in Haiti’s rural areas has access to proper sanitation, and 40 per cent of Haitians use unsafe water sources, according to UNICEF.
“It is feared that the hurricane will worsen an already precarious situation,” UNICEF said.
In the wake of the storm, nine of Haiti’s 15 main hospitals are up and running, according to PAHO, which serves as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional office for the Americas.
“In these areas, usually with poor access to water and sanitation, where there are high attack rates and high case fatality rates, PAHO will implement targeted interventions to minimize the surge in cases of cholera,” PAHO said.
The UN’s humanitarian aid agency (OCHA) said 350,000 Haitians need prompt assistance, including food and clean water, marking the worst humanitarian crisis in the nation since the 2010 devastating earthquake.