The United Nations Must Send Medical Doctors and Healthcare Professionals to Haiti
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We the undersigned call on the UN to take immediate action and leadership to treat and eradicate cholera in the refugee camps and border towns between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Petition for Urgent and Immediate UN Action for Treatment of Cholera in Haitian Border Towns
Cholera began killing Haitians in October 2010.
The cholera outbreak in Haiti is the largest in recent world history.
Hundreds of thousands of Haitians have suffered from cholera during the last five years and 9,000 have died.
And they continue to die--even today.
Over the last several weeks, cholera has infected people in the Haitian/Dominican border camps in Anse-a-Pitres, Haiti, where there is a rudimentary under equipped Cholera Treatment Center.
The question of responsibility for originally bringing cholera to Haiti has not been finalized and lawsuits are in process. Evidence has indicted poor waste management at a United Nations facility in Mirebalais as the main source.Although the UN disavows any responsibility, the Final Report of the Independent Panel of Experts on the Cholera Outbreak in Haiti,indicated, “What are needed at this time are measures to prevent the disease from becoming endemic."
Since the first cases were located in Haiti in 2010, the United Nations has taken little action in comparison with the need identified[i].With this new outbreak at the door of another country, clearly stronger measures are required and immediately. (During the Latin America epidemic of the 1990s, cholera spread to more than 20 countries in two years.)
The United Nations is the pre-eminent organization to cure this problem and needs to work with the Haitian Public Health Department (MSPP) to send medical help immediately to the border camps.
- The UN has access to doctors and nurses as well as oral rehydration and IV solution.
- It has a history and presence in Haiti and is familiar with the culture, language, and traditions.
- It has an infrastructure in place and has the resources and knowledge to set up new Cholera Treatment Centers quickly and smoothly.
The UN should fulfill its role as the premier international body promoting international peace, security, and cooperation. It needs to take responsibility for its part in bringing this disease to Haiti. It must lead in the treatment and eradication of this disease before its imminent spread to the Dominican Republic and beyond.[ii]
[i] Memorandum from the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General:
For 2015-2016, an estimated US$ 36.5M are required to maintain rapid cholera control and response activities (approximately US$ 20M for 2015), of which US$ 6.9M has been received. The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has mobilized during the period US$ 4.1M showing the continued resource mobilisation effort.
[ii]During the Latin America epidemic of the 1990s, cholera spread to more than 20 countries in two years. With support from the international community, investments in water and sanitation infrastructure contributed to the virtual elimination of epidemic cholera from Central and South America within 8 years. These interventions also led to well-documented decreases in other waterborne diseases, such as typhoid fever and hepatitis A, and to reductions in infant and child mortality. The control of epidemic cholera in Latin America in the 1990s underlines the current need for investment in safe water and sanitation infrastructure in Haiti. http://www.unicef.org/media/domrepublic_61274.html
Photo Credit: SOS Rapatriés @SOS_Rapatriés on Twitter.
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