Haiti Cholera Update #11

MSPP (Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population) has no updated figures on cholera deaths or hospitalizations as of writing (c. 1500 ET). However Al Jezeera quotes an MSPP official saying the death toll has risen to 587. Al Jezeera also states there have been 120 suspected reported in Port-au-Prince. Five confirmed deaths have been reported at Wharf Jeremie, on the outskirts of Cité Soleil. James Wilson at Haiti: Operational Biosurveillance reports this number has increased to over 200 patients, and Haiti Epidemic Advisory System (HEAS) is urgently appealing for funding. He also notes further outbreaks have been reported in multiple places throughout Haiti, significantly without history of travel to known outbreak areas, indicating endemic or in situ environmental transmission through contaminated water, including places in the southwest affected by Hurricane Tomas. One gets the sense reading through his posts of a bad situation rapidly deteriorating. Wilson also remarks hospitals have been underreporting cases by as much as 400%. If this is true, it represents a serious breakdown in reporting of deaths and hospitalizations by MSPP.

HaitiLibre on this dysfunction:

The health authorities said on Monday they were examined at least 120 suspected cases of cholera in the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. At least 114 suspected cases suspected of having the disease in the capital come from Cité Soleil. The samples are being analyzed at the National Laboratory to confirm the presence of bacteria Vibrio cholerae “We are working on the case… We still do not have a confirmation,” said Gabriel Timothée, the Director General of the Ministry of Health.

If the laboratory confirms the presence of cholera, a population of 2.5 to 3 million people will be threatened with almost half live in camps. Timothée said that many patients are suspected to come from the Artibonite.

It would be time that the government says the truth to the population, trying to pretend that the cholera outbreak is contained in the Artibonite is pure disinformation, cholera knows no border. Besides the director general does not he know that his Ministry has confirmed that the five regions, the Artibonite, Center, North, Northwest and West of Haiti and the capital was affected by cholera ?

Why hide to the Haitian population,that many suspected cases are reported almost daily in Port-au-Prince ?

Thus we have learned from reliable medical sources, a case of cholera had been reported (October 31) at the hospital Bernard Mevs. That the sample taken from the patient and sent to the National Laboratory (Delmas 33) for analysis came back positive. The laboratory report confirmed the presence of Vibrio cholerae type 01. Note that this patient came from a camp near the road Bâtimat, and after investigation of the hospital, this patient had not traveled (for at least a year), in the Artibonite region or Saint-Marc and had not been in contact with people from these regions. It is therefore an infection from a local outbreak.

[snip]

While CTC (Cholera Treatment Centre) settled in Port-au-Prince, the actual capacity is of 2,000 “seats”, it will be necessary that the government has political courage to say not only to the population what occurs, but also that it communicates on the real situation of the epidemic in the country and diffuses finally the true figures, which at present is far from true. At 19 days of elections, reveal the magnitude of the situation to the population can only have negative impact on the government and its candidates… Politic for the government of René Préval now seems more important than the health of the population.

HaitiLibre is also reporting a third case of cholera has been confirmed in Dominican Republic.

Crawford Killian has some sharp words for the New York Times:

Blogging cholera in Haiti has taught me that the mainstream media have huge resources and can produce long, informative articles. But they don’t seem to be using the Haitiverse—the blogs and tweets of people on the ground. So they remain hours and even days behind the folks like Ansel Herz and James Wilson.

I note without irony PAHO has a visit by Fox News to its PAP warehouse featured on its blog.

More resources:

Haiti: Operational Biosurveillance (Twitter)

H5N1

HaitiLibre (English) (français) (Twitter — English and French)

Mediahacker: Independent multimedia reporting from Haiti (Twitter)

Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population (Homepage) (Cholera Updates) (in French)

PAHO’s Haiti Cholera page. (PAHO Situation Reports and other documentation.) (Blog.)

Praecipio International (HEAS)

On the ground, good sources of information and of course needing donations:

Partners in Health (Twitter).

Médecins sans frontières

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