UN in $2.2bn drive to eradicate cholera from Haiti

Monday 17 December 2012 11.39
Tens of thousands of Haitians were left homeless after 2010 earthquake
Tens of thousands of Haitians were left homeless after 2010 earthquake

The United Nations has launched a €2.2bn plan to rid Haiti of cholera as the country struggles to eradicate the deadly disease and rebuild after a devastating 2010 earthquake.

Cholera - an infection causing severe diarrhoea that can lead to dehydration and death - has killed some 7,750 Haitians and sickened almost 620,000 since October 2010.

It occurs in places with poor sanitation and can be treated with clean fluids.

However, many communities in Haiti lack sewage systems and access to clean water, compounding the spread of the disease and making it more difficult to treat.

President of the Marassa 14 tent camp in Tabarre, Dieussaint Saint-Jules, said since an Oxfam International relief group left residents have not been able to get their hands on much needed water purification tablets.

The UN pledge comes as aid groups withdraw from the impoverished country due to a lack of funding.

Hundreds of thousands are still living in tent camps with no running water or proper sanitation since the 2010 earthquake.

The number of new cholera cases has come down this year, but thousands of patients, including many children, seek medical attention every week for the deadly disease.

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