Haiti warns of a new cholera outbreak

The Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) warned the public of the existence of a new cholera outbreak in the country, after notifying a confirmed case and announcing that it is studying several suspected cases.

This indicates the return of the disease that killed about 10,000 people in a 2010 outbreak attributed to a United Nations peacekeeping force.

The Ministry of Health of Haiti reported in a statement that one case was confirmed in the Port-au-Prince area and suspected cases were reported in the town of Cite Soleilon the outskirts of the capital.

The ministry asked citizens to take sanitary measures such as washing their hands and consuming clean drinking water to avoid contracting the virus. illness.

A new cholera outbreak would be devastating for Haiti, where economic activity was paralyzed due to the blockade of armed gangs that prevent the distribution of fuel, which caused a critical shortage, in addition to the closure of businesses and many hospitals.

The Pan American Health Organization said in 2020 that Haiti had gone a year without any confirmed cases of cholera.

Troops from Nepal, where cholera is endemic, were in Haiti as part of a peacekeeping force from the UN established in 2004 after the overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

The size of the force increased after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

The United Nations apologized in 2016 for the outbreak, without taking responsibility.

An independent panel appointed by then-UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon issued a report in 2011 that did not conclusively determine how cholera was introduced to Haiti.

Panel members in 2013 independently published an article that concluded that personnel associated with the UN peacekeeping mission were “the most likely source.”

With information from Reuters and Europa Press