After more than three years without a reported case in Haiti, national authorities on 2 October reported two new confirmed cases of vibrio cholerae in the metropolitan area of the capital Port-au-Prince.
As of Monday this week, the Ministry of Public Health and Population reported 8,708 suspected cases, with 802 confirmed, and 161 deaths across the country.
Preventable and treatable
“Cholera is a preventable and treatable disease, and based on their experience and expertise, national institutions quickly put together a response strategy with the determined support of the entire local and international humanitarian community,” said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ulrika Richardson.
“However, the surge in cases in recent weeks and the rapid spread of cholera in the country is worrying.”
500,000 at risk
According to PAHO/WHO, 500,000 people are at risk of contracting the disease.
The cholera crisis has hit already vulnerable populations hardest. The latest food security analysis for Haiti shows that 4.7 million people, nearly half the population, are experiencing high levels of food insecurity, with 19,200 people living in an official disaster situation, the first time this has happened in recent history.
Haitians are also facing increased violence due to the activities of armed gangs. These gangs use sexual violence as a weapon to terrorise the population and to gain control over territory.
Nearly 100,000 people have been displaced since June 2021 after fleeing violence.
The main roads linking the capital to the rest of the country are under the control or influence of gangs, which has limited or even deprived citizens of access to basic services for many months.
In this context, humanitarians are dependent on costly alternative means of transport to continue providing assistance throughout the country, which includes the battle to bring cholera under control.
The UN and partners are calling for funding to help Government-led effort to provide more clean water, hygiene and sanitation, and health activities, while addressing urgent food security, nutrition, and protection needs.