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Tag search: "Haiti"

Promoting health through the life course

Haiti orphanages hotspot of child trafficking, abuse, says charity

Children living in hundreds of orphanages in Haiti suffer sexual and physical abuse and some are trafficked into orphanages for profit, according to a charity founded by author J.K. Rowling. Many of Haiti`s orphanages use deception to recruit children from unknowing and impoverished parents - a form of trafficking - and use those children to attract donations, said the report released by the London-based charity Lumos. In some cases, families had been paid $75 to give their children away, the report said

June 22, 2017

Preparedness, surveillance and response

Haiti could stem cholera epidemic by end 2018: health officials

Haiti could stem its seven-year-long cholera epidemic by the end of 2018 as the number of reported cases has dropped sharply, government and United Nations officials said. The health ministry said Haiti has had about 7,400 suspected new cholera cases since the start of the year, compared with almost 20,200 at the same point last year. "We have never seen so few cases," Donald Francois, head of the health ministry`s national cholera program said. "With the cases we`ve seen we think we can eliminate cholera by the end of 2018"

July 3, 2017

Experts find new strain of cholera that spreads faster

Forty-five strains of ‘vibrio’ cholera were isolated from 10 different places in India and their genetic modules compared to the Haitian strain, which was responsible for the outbreak of cholera in 2010 in Haiti. The new strain does not lead to sporadic cases, but attacks groups of people, which is why it is stated to be virulent. The samples were taken from sewage treatment plants in Hyderabad and 16 strains were isolated, showing that that there was a gene mutation. The new strain of vibrio cholera showed that it had minor difference from the existing strain and this difference didn’t affect the toxin production in the bacteria

June 28, 2017
Deccan Chronicle

UN Brought Cholera to Haiti. Now It Is Fumbling Its Effort to Atone

A $400 million voluntary trust fund for Haiti to battle cholera was created last year by Ban Ki-moon, then the secretary general, when he apologized for the United Nations’ role after having repeatedly denied any responsibility. But the fund, meant in part to compensate cholera victims, garnered only a few million dollars and is now nearly empty. Without an immediate infusion of funds, warned UN deputy secretary general, Amina J. Mohammed, “the intensified cholera response and control efforts cannot be sustained through 2017 and 2018”

June 27, 2017
New York Times

The U.N. owes Haiti relief from cholera epidemic it introduced

Seven years after its soldiers sparked the world’s worst cholera epidemic in Haiti, the United Nations is finally preparing to close its MINUSTAH peacekeeping mission there. When MINUSTAH soldiers discharged contaminated waste into the Artibonite River in 2010, sparking a massive cholera outbreak, the U.N. denied its role in the tragedy, in defiance of overwhelming evidence and the organization’s own obligations. While the U.N. ignored cholera’s victims, at least 10,000 Haitians died from the disease (though the U.N. has reported that the number may be three times as high). Today, cholera continues to wreak havoc on the people of Haiti, and the crisis has weakened the organization’s credibility as a human rights defender

June 21, 2017
Miami Herald
June 24, 2017

After Bringing Cholera to Haiti, U.N. Can’t Raise Money to Fight It

After issuing a December apology for ‘bringing cholera to Haiti’ the UN launched a $400m strategy to combat the epidemic and provide material support and assistance for victims. This ‘new approach,’ however, has raised only $2m to date, with just six of the 193 UN member states contributing

March 19, 2017
New York Times
March 18, 2017
Business Standard, Rappler

Health systems

Sexual violence in Haiti is a public health problem

Rampant sexual violence in Haiti against women and children, including some toddlers, should be treated as a public health issue and more care made available for survivors, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said. Most of the 1,300 survivors of sexual violence who had been treated at one clinic run by MSF in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince since it opened in May 2015 are younger than 25, and more than half are children, according to a MSF report

July 19, 2017

For many Haitians, street dispensaries are the only source of medicine

In Haiti, “Pharmacists are an endangered species,” explains Lionel Étienne, a local drug importer. “Medicine is considered an ordinary consumer good.” Street vendors are not pharmacists, and their wares are not regulated. This illegal, ubiquitous medical practice can have serious consequences for the health of many Haitians. "The majority of the population don`t have enough money to buy their medicine in pharmacy stores," he said. "Street sellers have generic medicines from China, expired pills, counterfeit drugs imported from the Dominican Republic. So basically, they are cheaper than the medicine you`re going to find in the pharmacies."

June 16, 2017
National Geographic

Communicable diseases

U.N. votes to close, replace Haiti peacekeeping mission

The UN Security Council voted unanimously to end its 3-year-long peacekeeping mission in Haiti and replace it with a smaller police force, which would be drawn down after two years as the country boosts its own force. The mission, known as MINUSTAH, has been dogged by controversies, including the introduction of cholera to the island and sexual abuse claims

April 13, 2017
April 12, 2017
Miami Herald
April 13, 2017
CBC News, New York Times
April 14, 2017

UN: Latin America's Poor Need More Help to Tackle Zika

The ripple effects of the Zika virus are hitting the poor hard in Latin America and the Caribbean and could k nock back development unless states involve communities in a stronger push to tackle the disease, a UN-led study said. The virus will cost the region between $7bn and $18bn from 2015-17, said the report, large economies like Brazil will shoulder the biggest share of the cost, put poorer countries like Belize and Haiti will suffer the severest impacts 

April 6, 2017
Voice of America, Reuters, Huffington Post

'White coats' alone can't combat infectious disease outbreaks: U.N. adviser

Poor countries need more resources and training on the ground to combat infectious diseases that are spreading in new ways and to new places, partly due to climate change, said David Nabarro, who is in the race to be next head of the World Health Organization. The first thing in dealing with outbreaks is to make sure there is capacity in the countries to deal with the problems early and simulation exercises are crucial in ensuring local communities are prepared

March 31, 2017
April 1, 2017
Economic Times, DFID
March 31, 2017
Financial Times

What they knew and when they knew it

Slate draws on new emails which show that American officials quickly realised that the UN had brought cholera to Haiti. The emails show that the U.S. government at the highest levels was almost immediately aware that UN forces likely played a role in the outbreak. Multiple federal agencies shielded the UN from accountability to protect the organization. The UN continued to deny any involvement in the outbreak until it admitted it ‘played a role’ in 2016. By then, 800,000 people in Haiti had been sickened and more than 9,500 killed, with some experts saying the real toll could be two or three times higher

March 30, 2017
Slate, Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti