My Google Alerts have been feeding me this Trenton Daniel story from many sources: Haiti Cholera Cases Jump, UN Says. In particular, the second paragraph caught my eye:
The U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a monthly bulletin that the new cholera cases were found in the western and northern parts of the country and that Haitian health officials recorded 77 new cases a day for the whole country in early March, when the rains began.
The 77 cases were on March 1, with 29 of them needing hospitalization. For the rest of that week, cases/hospitalizations went like this:
In the second week of March we saw the numbers actually drop a little while people began dying of cholera:
Total cases: 381. Daily average: 54.4.
For the last four days that MSPP has numbers for, we have this:
Was this a "jump"? Well, here are MSPP's numbers for February 23-29, the last week of February:
So if the rains began in early March, if anything they slowed cholera down from the end of February. And why would OCHA suddenly raise the alarm about a "jump" in cases in March?
My ill-informed guesses: 1) OCHA has numbers for the rest of March, and they're bad, but they can't use them because MSPP hasn't released them yet; 2) MSPP's numbers are wildly unreliable, and early March numbers were no worse than any others; 3) OCHA doesn't know the exact cholera numbers, but it knows how little money remains to deal with a predictable surge in cases, and it's launching a begging campaign.
As Casey Stengel once asked of his hapless Mets, "Can't anybody here play this game?" Can't somebody in Haiti tell us what the cholera numbers really are, at least within an order of magnitude? Has PAHO completely abandoned the country since late January? Are the NGOs all gone in search of fresh disasters? Some pretty good journalists are working in Haiti, but they've fallen silent too.
Do we really have to rely on a retired teacher of business communications in surburban Vancouver, BC, to try to keep track of the worst cholera outbreak in the world?