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NPR’s ‘Shots’ Blog Examines Cholera Epidemic in Haiti; U.N. SG Calls For Continued International Support Of Country

NPR’s “Shots” blog examines the cholera epidemic in Haiti and addresses the controversy surrounding the U.N.’s role in the outbreak, noting, “Most scientists now think Nepalese soldiers unwittingly brought cholera to Haiti when they joined a U.N. peacekeeping force there in 2010.” The blog also discusses plans to control cholera in Haiti. “The Haitian government is expected to release a detailed blueprint for the first two years of the effort sometime this month. The entire project is expected to cost $2.2 billion and take at least 10 years,” the blog reports. According to the blog, Pan American Health Organization Deputy Director Jon Andrus said financing the effort will be challenging. “The question is: Can it be done? I believe it can. So we’re ramping up efforts to do that,” Andrus said, the blog notes. The blog also discusses cholera vaccination in Haiti, citing a recent study that “suggests that vaccinating around half the population would provide enough ‘herd immunity’ to make cholera transmission much less likely. … But, so far, the U.N. says nothing has been decided about launching a cholera vaccination program of any sort in Haiti” (Knox, 1/12).

In a related story, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday “called on the international community to continue its support for Haiti as he marked the third anniversary of the devastating earthquake that struck the Caribbean country, while praising the progress achieved so far,” the U.N. News Centre reports (1/11).