“Evidence ‘strongly suggests’ that a United Nations peacekeeping mission brought a cholera strain to Haiti that has killed thousands of people,” according to a study conducted by a team of epidemiologists and physicians and published in the July issue of the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, the Associated Press reports. The Haitian government has recorded more than 363,000 cases of cholera more than 5,500 deaths since the outbreak began in October.
Water and Sanitation
More than 18,000 cases of cholera have been recorded in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince since the beginning of May, an increase that may be related to “the beginning of the rainy season and the flooding that hit the capital,” according to Tarik Jasarevic, a WHO spokesperson, Agence France-Presse reports.
In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, the CDC describes “global public health achievements â€¦ that occurred outside of the United States during 2001-2010.” Gains in public health efforts, such as preventing child mortality, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases, have improved longevity and “resulted from improved living conditions overall, advances in medical science, and a number of population-level interventions. However, major disparities persist. During the past decade, in low-income countries, average life expectancy at birth increased from 55 to 57 years (3.6%), while increasing from 78 to 80 years (2.6%) in high-income countries,” the article notes (6/24).
Three cases of cholera have been confirmed in the Democratic Republic of Congo capital of Kinshasa, “home to at least 9 million people, many of whom live in cramped, unsanitary conditions,” Reuters reports.
The U.N. on Tuesday “launched a major push to accelerate progress towards the goal of halving, by 2015, the proportion of the population without access to basic sanitation,” according to the U.N. News Centre (6/21).
“That 2.6 billion people live each day without a proper toilet is shocking,” Willem-Alexander, the Prince of Orange who is also chair of the U.N. Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, writes in an opinion piece in the Hurriyet Daily News, which marks the launch of a U.N. effort to build political will for sanitation.
Fast Company reports on actor Matt Damon’s work to promote development and access to clean water in Africa.
BMJ reports on the health affects of civil unrest in South Sudan, which will become the world’s newest country on July 9.
Haider Warraich, a research fellow at Harvard Medical School, examines how a “lack of access to water in Pakistan only exacerbates the country’s already dire public health situation” in this post on Foreign Policy’s “AfPak Channel” blog. “Several measures need to be taken to ward off this crisis,” he says,…
Medical workers at a hospital in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, went on strike Thursday after a nurse was suspected of contracting cholera, the Associated Press/Kansas City Star reports.