Cases of cholera are on the rise in Haiti and neighboring Dominican Republic, the United Nations World Health Organization reported Friday, saying more than 18,000 new cases in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, have been recorded recently.
“This increase may be partly due to the beginning of the rainy season and the flooding that hit the capital,” spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic told reporters in Geneva.
“Data from the Ministry of Public Health of Haiti showed that since the beginning of the outbreak until 12 June, there had been 344,623 cases of cholera and 5,397 deaths,” he added. The cholera epidemic in Haiti first erupted last October.
In the Dominican Republic, the health ministry reported that since the first cases were reported in the country late last year, there have been 1,727 confirmed cases, including 46 deaths. The ministry is continuing its epidemiological research and response, which included improving water quality and sanitation services, and public awareness campaigns on prevention.
Jasarevic said that the occupancy rate of the 2,300 beds in cholera treatment centers in Haiti and the cholera treatment units in the Port-au-Prince Metropolitan area was about 72 per cent.
Access to clean water and proper sanitation in Haiti remains the main challenge in fighting the epidemic, according to the World Health Organization.