Science This Month
Want to send this page or a link to a friend? Click on mail at the top of this window.
More Science and Technology 
Posted November 19, 2010
Aid agencies say they can't cope with Haiti cholera outbreak
By Jon Swaine in New York
A severe shortage of treatments for the sick, clean water, sanitation facilities and other supplies are "undermining efforts to stem the ongoing crisis", according to Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).
cholera from un

STR NEW/Reuters

It said that the international response to the epidemic, which has killed more than 1,100 people and left 20,000 ill "has to date been inadequate".

"There is no time left for meetings and debate," the international medical group said in a statement. "The time for action is now.

Since emerging last month the disease has spread quickly across Haiti, which was trying to recover from an earthquake in January that killed an estimated 250,000 people died and displaced many more.

While cholera can usually be easily prevented, it has thrived on the poor sanitation in areas devastated by the earthquake.

MSF said it was now dealing with about 1,000 new cases a day, and that the number of people seeking its help in Port-au-Prince, the capital, had risen sevenfold since the start of the month.

Its rebuke to other aid groups came as the World Health Organisation said that the cholera outbreak, the first in Haiti's history, had already spread to the Dominican Republic.

Copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited 2010
                    , the scholarly journal of democracy and human rights
More from
Main / Columns / Books And Arts / Miscellaneous