President Barack Obama on Tuesday â€“ a day ahead of the one-year Haiti earthquake anniversary â€“ released a statement urging the “international community to ‘fulfill its pledges’ to aid ongoing earthquake recovery efforts,” The Hill’s “Blog Briefing Room” reports (Fabian, 1/11).
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the names of four experts to be part of an independent panel that will “investigate the source of Haiti’s cholera epidemic, which some Haitians blame on U.N. peacekeepers,” Reuters reports (Worsnip, 1/6).
“A new report [.pdf] from international aid agency Oxfam says reconstruction work has barely begun in Haiti following the country’s catastrophic earthquake a year ago,” RTE News reports (1/6). Even in developed countries, disaster recovery can be a slow process, the report states. But it also “said efforts in Haiti had been paralyzed by a lack of leadership from the Haitian government and the international community,” Reuters reports.
Though Haiti’s cholera “epidemic continues to spread, infecting more than 125,000 people and killing more than 3,200,” it seems to have “stabilized in” the town of Mirebalais, which is close to the “U.N. camp of Nepalese peacekeepers who are under investigation as a possible source” of the outbreak, the Seattle Times reports in a story outlining how aid groups and health workers are dealing with the situation.
A USAID official said Tuesday that potential violence following the release of Haiti’s final presidential election results could interfere with efforts to contain the country’s cholera epidemic, CBC News reports.
The Haitian health ministry on Sunday said there had been 2,535 cholera deaths since the outbreak hit in mid-October, “dashing hopes the fatality rate might be beginning to taper off,” Agence France-Presse reports.
The U.N. is looking into establishing an independent commission to identify the source of Haiti’s cholera epidemic, Alain Le Roy, the U.N. under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations, said on Wednesday, the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “We are urging and we are calling for what we could call an international panel,” Le Roy said at a news conference at the U.N. headquarters in New York. “We are in discussions with (the U.N. World Health Organization) to find the best experts to be in a panel to be completely independent,” he added.
Senator Leahy Calls For U.S. To Suspend Direct Aid To Haiti’s Government, Visas For Haitian Officials
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs, “on Friday urged President Barack Obama’s administration to suspend direct aid to Haiti’s government and visas for its top officials until it ensures a fair and democratic outcome to disputed national elections,” Reuters reports.
Study Finds Haitian Cholera Strain Resembles One From South Asia, Carries Mutation That Increases Severity
“Detailed genetic tests confirm that the cholera strain that has killed more than 2,000 people in Haiti came from South Asia and most closely resembles a strain circulating in Bangladesh,” according to a study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, Reuters reports (12/9).
Also In Global Health News: Cholera In Haiti; Food In Ghana; Health Care Access In Afghanistan; Violence Against Women In Somalia; Male Circumcision Study
CDC Report Documents Cholera’s Spread In Haiti Haiti’s cholera outbreak has spread across the country and infected more than 91,000 people, while more than 2,000 people have died as a result, the CDC said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which was published on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times…