Via The New York Times: Haiti in the Shadow of Cholera. Excerpt:
The problem of ending Haiti’s cholera epidemic does not stem from an absence of planning. There is a 10-year plan to eradicate cholera from Hispaniola, the island Haiti shares with the Dominican Republic, by 2022. Within the 10-year plan is a two-year plan to get the 10-year plan up and running. The United Nations has its own two-year plan to support that two-year plan. To tackle the crisis immediately, with treatment, vaccinations and other prevention efforts, there was a one-year plan for last year, and a new one for 2014.
In Port-au-Prince on Tuesday, Haitian government officials and international health agencies met to examine the progress of the cholera response. As they surely realized, the difficulty is never a lack of plans, but a lack of money. Last year’s plan called for spending $38 million, but raised only $10 million. The 2014 plan is for about $40 million. It has raised about $6 million. The government says it needs $448 million to carry out its two-year plan; it has raised less than half that.
The 10-year plan, an ambitious campaign to supply vaccinations and treatment and to build the clean water, sewage and health systems Haiti has never had, is expected to cost $2.2 billion. Needless to say, it is off to a bad start. And not surprisingly, other trends are moving in the wrong direction, as The Times reported last week.
The number of cholera treatment centers has plummeted, from 120 to barely 40, as aid organizations leave Haiti. The percentage of cholera patients who die in treatment centers is rising. The rainy season, which began this month, is expected to increase the caseload by tens of thousands as flooding spreads the disease in contaminated rivers and streams used for drinking and bathing.
More than 700,000 Haitians have been sickened since the outbreak began in 2010. More than 8,500 have died.
According to the latest cholera statistics from the MSPP, 700,742 Haitians have contracted cholera in the past three and a half years. Of those, 8,547 have died.