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Cholera Epidemic In Haiti Expected To Worsen With Onset Of Rainy Season, Lack of Funds

“Nearly 2.5 years after it began, Haiti’s cholera epidemic is getting worse, not better, and efforts to treat the sick are desperately short of funds, say aid groups on the ground,” The Lancet reports. “Since the first reported cases in October 2010, cholera has killed 8,000 people and sickened some 649,000 more, wreaking havoc in a country bereft of effective water and sanitation systems and among a population with no natural immunity to the disease,” the journal notes, adding the oncoming rainy season has “some fear[ing] a surge in new cases could overwhelm Haiti’s ill-equipped cholera treatment centers, many of which have struggled to retain staff and replenish supplies in the face of donor fatigue and errors of perception about the state of the epidemic.” The article describes a large deficit of funding to fight cholera, widespread malnutrition in the country, and a lack of access to water and sanitation services. The Lancet includes comments from Louise Ivers of Partners In Health and Jon Andrus of the Pan-American Health Organization (Adams, 4/13).