“Philippine authorities are warning of the spread of diseases in cramped evacuation centers, days after flash floods hit the southern Philippines and claimed more than a thousand lives,” ABC/Asia Pacific News reports, noting that flooding also has affected the country’s northern provinces, displacing at least 50,000 people (Escalante, 12/20). Tropical Storm Washi “hit the main southern island of Mindanao over the weekend, bringing heavy rains, flash floods and overflowing rivers that swept whole coastal villages away,” forcing 44,000 people to evacuate the area, Agence France-Presse/Inquirer News writes (Celis, 12/21). Officials say hundreds of thousands of people are in need of humanitarian assistance, and the U.N. has stepped up its efforts in the area, the U.N. News Centre reports (12/20).
In this Guardian opinion piece, Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., writes that the U.N. “must face up” to a cholera outbreak allegedly brought to Haiti by peacekeeping troops in the aftermath of the January 2010 earthquake. “More than 500,000 have been infected, and the disease — which Haiti has not had in more than a century — is now endemic to the country and will be killing people there for many years to come,” he writes.
Health ministry officials on Friday launched a cholera education campaign in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, “which aims to educate at least one person in every household on preventing the disease and what to do when symptoms occur,” Agence France-Presse reports. “The WHO’s Horn of Africa team said there had been…
The BBC News audio program “Assignment” reports on the cholera epidemic in Haiti “and examines the controversy that surrounds it.” Correspondent Mark Doyle traces the alleged origin of the disease in Haiti, which had not recorded a case of the disease in about a century, discusses the U.N. report on the situation, and talks about how “families of cholera victims are now demanding compensation” (12/16).
“The question of who is responsible for Haiti’s cholera epidemic — the first that the Caribbean nation, the western hemisphere’s poorest, has seen in a century — has raised tempers since the first case was detected in October 2010,” TIME reports in an article examining a lawsuit filed against the U.N. claiming it is responsible for bringing the disease into the country and seeking damages for cholera victims and their families.
This post on Medecins Sans Frontiere’s (MSF) website describes the humanitarian organization’s activities in Cameroon to address a 14-month-long cholera epidemic. MSF has provided oral rehydration solution, water purifying capabilities, and medical aid and assistance in Cameroon, and the organization is “preparing the end of its emergency response, in collaboration with…
Jason Nickerson, a respiratory therapist and doctoral candidate in Population Health at the University of Ottawa, in this Global Health Hub post, recounts recent controversy surrounding “the health and humanitarian response to the earthquake and cholera outbreaks” in Haiti, noting tension “between the provision of [a cholera] vaccine as opposed to spending…
The U.N. and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working to fight an outbreak of cholera that has infected more than 17,000 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) need an additional $5.5 million to help their efforts, Elisabeth Byrs, a spokesperson for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said on Friday, the U.N. News Centre reports (11/18). “The U.N. says donations received will go toward improving water and sanitation and providing medical assistance for victims,” the VOA “Breaking News” blog writes (11/19). “This $5.5 million is really urgently needed because the rainy season is set to begin,” Byrs said, Agence France-Presse notes (11/19).
“Cholera has broken out in the world’s largest refugee camp in Kenya, home to nearly 500,000 Somali refugees, the United Nations said on Tuesday,” Reuters reports (Nebehay, 11/15). “There are now 60 cases of cholera in [Kenya's Dadaab complex], including 10 laboratory-confirmed cases and one refugee death, according to Andrej Mahecic, a spokesperson for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),” the U.N. News Centre writes.
Some Public Health Experts Raise Concerns Over Plans To Immunize Haitians Against Cholera, AP Reports
The Associated Press/Washington Times reports on a pilot project plan by Partners In Health (PIH) and GHESKIO to vaccinate Haitians against cholera, which “has set off a debate among some public health experts who question the wisdom of [the] program that will inoculate only one percent of the population and could deplete the world’s stock of available cholera vaccine, potentially putting people at risk in other vulnerable places.” The program will cost an estimated $870,000, money that some experts say would be better spent cleaning up contaminated waterways, according to the AP.