Violence Hampers Cholera Response

The United Nations and its humanitarian partners in Haiti are urging an end to the violent demonstrations in Cap Haitien, which they say are seriously impeding efforts to respond to the rapidly escalating cholera outbreak. “Every day we lose means hospitals go without supplies, patients go untreated and people remain ignorant of the danger they are facing,” the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Haiti, Nigel Fisher, said on Nov. 14. Fisher warned that the security situation in Cap Haitien is preventing vital supplies from reaching the area, where medical staff are overwhelmed and cholera deaths are climbing. U.N. officials have been forced to cancel flights carrying soap, medical supplies and personnel. A number of projects had to be suspended, including water chlorination for 300,000 people in slum areas and training for medical staff in how to deal with cholera. Fisher also sharply criticized the international community’s “inadequate” response to the outbreak, which so far has claimed more than 1,200 lives.

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