Tropical storm Tomas “is on a path toward the island of Hispaniola and is expected to strengthen into a hurricane and make landfall Friday, with possible winds of 74 mph and heavy rains,” PBS’ NewsHour reports.
Also In Global Health News: Flooding, Cholera In Benin; China’s National Census; Leprosy In Afghanistan; Economic Growth, Hunger In Uganda
Floods Worsen In Benin Prompting New Cholera Risk “Worsening floods in the West African nation of Benin have destroyed 55,000 homes, killed tens of thousands of livestock and created a new cholera risk, the United Nations said Monday,” Agence France-Presse reports. “Food is one of the most important needs,” said…
Tests have shown that the strain in Haiti’s cholera outbreak is similar to cholera strains found in South Asia, the CDC said on Monday, Agence France-Presse reports (11/1).
The U.S. is falling short on its goal of improving conditions for the 2.6 billion people worldwide without access to clean water and sanitation despite the fact the Water for the Poor Act became law in 2005, according to a report (.pdf) released Thursday by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), WaterAid, CARE and 11 other organization, Food Safety News reports (11/19).
Haiti’s cholera outbreak appears to have spread to its capital, “imperiling nearly 3 million people living in Port-au-Prince, nearly half of them in unsanitary tent camps for the homeless from the Jan. 12 earthquake,” the Associated Press/KIRO reports.
Haiti needs about 1,000 additional trained nurses and at least 100 more physicians to control the cholera epidemic, Valerie Amos, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said during a recent visit to the capital of Port-au-Prince, Reuters reports. “We clearly need to do more,” Amos said of the global response to the cholera outbreak. “But it’s not just money, it’s crucially people, in terms of getting more doctors, nurses, more people who can help with the awareness-raising and getting information out there,” she said. The U.N. plans to work with countries and aid groups that have the capacity to quickly provide more health workers, according to Amos.
Cholera Deaths In Haiti Top 900; U.N. Appeals For $164M To Deal With Outbreak That Could Affect 200,000
Haiti’s Health Ministry on Sunday said 917 cholera deaths had been reported in the country as of Friday and more than 14,600 people had been hospitalized, according to an update on the ministry’s website, Reuters reports. The disease has been detected in six of the country’s 10 provinces, according to the Health Ministry. “The central rural province of Artibonite, the epicenter of the epidemic, remained the worst affected, accounting for nearly 600 of the total deaths,” the news service writes. As of November 12, authorities had recorded 27 deaths in the capital city of Port-au-Prince (11/14).
Cholera Case Confirmed In Dominican Republic; Haitian Protestors Blame U.N. Peacekeeping Troops For Cholera Outbreak
Officials on Tuesday said they had confirmed the first case of cholera in Haiti’s neighbor, the Dominican Republic, the Associated Press/Forbes reports (11/16). Bautista Rojas, the Dominican health minister, said the patient is a 32-year-old Haitian construction worker who recently returned from Haiti, the BBC reports. The patient is receiving treatment in isolation in the eastern town of Higuey, Rojas said (11/16).
“The first known case of cholera in the United States linked to the outbreak in Haiti was confirmed Wednesday by health officials who said a southwest Florida woman contracted the disease while visiting family in a region at the heart of Haiti’s epidemic,” the New York Times reports.
“The cholera epidemic in Haiti is gathering pace and some violence is expected when the country holds elections this week, U.N. officials warned Tuesday,” Agence France-Presse reports. The official death toll from cholera is now above 1,400, but “experts believe that the real toll is close to 2,000 dead and the number of cases is between 60,000 and 70,000 rather than the 50,000 given by the authorities, Nigel Fisher, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Haiti said,” according to the news service (11/23).