Haiti Still Faces “Humanitarian Emergency” From Cholera

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Above: the UN’s Pedro Medrano Rojas (UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

While Haiti’s cholera problems may not be receiving as much media attention of late, the country still faces a humanitarian emergency, according to Pedro Medrano Rojas, the UN’s senior coordinator for cholera response in Haiti.

Medrano said this remained a major problem as the health crisis has “fallen off the international agenda after having ceased appearing in the media.”

“When cooperation funds dry up, the response teams on the ground no longer have resources to adequately respond to alerts, treat patients and prevent further deaths,” he wrote in a recent opinion piece in a German newspaper.

“We cannot forget cholera,” he said. “The cholera epidemic in Haiti is still a humanitarian emergency that requires urgent attention. How would we react if any other country forecasted 28,000 cases of cholera for 2015?”

He said the lack of renewed resources had led to the closure of 91 of the 250 cholera treatment centres in the country and “has caused the departure of many international partners from the country.”

“Despite the alarming situation and the worrying estimates for 2015, the cholera epidemic has fallen off the radar of most donors,” Medrano said. “The lack of resources has already led to the closure of 91 of the 250 treatment centres in the country and has caused the departure of many international partners from the country.”