Guest blog by David M. Olson, MD, Medical Advisor, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), New York, NY, USA. This week I have been called back to Haiti because of the cholera epidemic that first hit in late October and which continues to have a devastating effect. At the time of writing this post, more than 1,100 people have died and over 18,000 hospitalizations due to cholera have been reported throughout the country.
With less than a week to go before presidential elections in Haiti, aid agencies are struggling to contain a growing cholera epidemic on the island. At least 1,250 Haitians have now died of cholera and thousands more are infected with the disease, which is spreading through the capital Port-au-Prince and other parts of the country.
The death toll from a cholera epidemic in Haiti topped 250 Sunday, and a handful of cases in the country's capital were confirmed, as government officials and aid groups prepared for what they call an inevitable spread of the disease.
ST. MARC, Haiti — Inside the courtyard of St. Nicholas Hospital, beyond the gate with the handwritten sign stating “Diarrhea Emergency Only,” lies a grim but unusually orderly scene at the epicenter of this country’s unexpected cholera epidemic.
Patients jammed rudimentary clinics and health workers in surgical masks sprayed anti-bacterial solution on muddy paths as the government struggled to contain a cholera epidemic that has killed nearly 800 Nigerians in two months.