WHO faces challenges fighting cholera outbreak in Haiti – caribbeannationalweekly.com

Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus says the agency is facing challenges in its efforts to fight the cholera outbreak in Haiti.
Since the outbreak that started in the capital, Port-au-Prince earlier this month, 16 people have died and there were 224 suspected cases as of last Saturday, according to the authorities.
A quarter of suspected cases are among children under five.
Speaking on Wednesday during his weekly press conference on global health challenges, the WHO chief said, “the situation is evolving rapidly, and it is possible that earlier or additional cases have not been detected”.
Teams are working in areas such as surveillance, case management, water and sanitation, vaccination, and community engagement.
This latest cholera outbreak is occurring amid mounting insecurity and an economic crisis.
Last month, gangs blocked access to the main fuel terminal in the capital city, which has caused major gas and fuel shortages that are also affecting healthcare services.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reported that surveillance is being carried out under extremely difficult circumstances.
“The affected areas are very insecure, and controlled by gangs, which makes it very difficult to collect samples, and delays laboratory confirmation of cases and deaths,” he said.
“In addition, fuel shortages are making it harder for health workers to get to work, causing health facilities to close and disrupting access to health services for people who live in some of the most deprived communities.”
The WHO is working with the health ministry and partners in Haiti to coordinate the response to the outbreak.
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