- On November 9, Haiti Libre said city authorities examined
at least 120 suspected cases, mostly in Cite Soleil, the extremely impoverished,
densely populated community home to around 400,000. More vulnerable from
Hurricane Tomas flooding, Partners in Health (PIH) called crowded camps
"a potential flashpoint for a cholera outbreak. There is growing concern"
about reported cases, thousands that may spread to many more.
- In recent days, cases "continued to expand geographically.
More (appeared) in Haiti's Central Plateau," PIH reporting 111 people
hospitalized. Reported deaths also keep rising, likely much higher than
Haiti's Health Ministry 544 figure on November 8. On November 9, Al Jazeera
reported 583 deaths, the numbers increasing daily. The report also said:
- "At least 115 cases of cholera, including the death
of (at least) one person, have been registered in Haiti's capital, the
most significant warning sign yet that the epidemic has spread from outlying
areas to threaten hundreds of thousands of people in the city's camps."
- Reporter Sebastian Walker said hospitals were overwhelmed,
- "Given the sheer number of cases that hospitals
are receiving, it is simply not possible to conduct laboratory tests in
order to give 100 per cent overall confirmation that this is cholera."
- Given the familiar symptoms, however, including severe
diarrhea, vomiting and fever, there's little doubt about the cause. Over
9,000 cases so far have been identified, mostly in the Artibonite area,
north of Port-au-Prince.
- Walker also said that "It is almost impossible to
contain this disease in an environment like this. Port-au-Prince is a very
overcrowded city with appalling sanitation infrastructure."
- PIH founder, Dr. Paul Farmer, currently UN Deputy Special
Envoy to Haiti, called for an aggressive investigation into the outbreak's
cause. However, since the January earthquake, aid from most governments,
UN bodies, and most NGOs has been meager and inadequate, despite billions
of dollars pledged or donated. Washington promised over $1 billion, delivered
nothing. Shamefully, most funding is earmarked for development, not affected
Haitians on their own to survive, even after Hurricane Tomas and the cholera
- Suspicions are that UN Blue Helmets introduced it, tests
confirming it's a South Asia strain (Vibrio cholerae serogroup 01, serotpe
Ogama), not regional. Nepalese Peacekeepers are based in Artibonite, site
of the initial outbreak. It's also Haiti's main rice-growing area, raising
suspicions of deliberate sabotage, creating a greater potential for US
imports, already advantaged by huge subsidies able to undercut home-grown
- For decades, Haiti experienced no cholera. Now an epidemic
threatens, ThirdAge.com saying since late October, half of Haiti's 10 administrative
regions have been hit. In a matter of weeks, it's "suspected of infecting
tens of thousands of people...." Tomas flooding forced an Artibonite
River dam to release infected water, exacerbating the disease potential.
- An earlier article provided more details, accessed through
the following link:
- On November 9, Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans
Frontieres - MSF) said it was treating increasing numbers of suspected
cholera cases in Port-au-Prince - so far, over 200 people, "suffering
from severe diarrhea, a clinical symptom consistent with cholera."
- MSF has four Port-au-Prince facilities, but only about
300 beds set aside for cholera. In the Artibonite area, its teams have
treated over 6,400 cases. Overall, however, it warns that the limited access
to safe drinking water and sanitation services pose an enormous risk for
further spread. A widespread epidemic is feared. Potentially it could kill
- On November 10, Haiti: Operational Biosurveillance (HOB)
- "Current official stats (confirm) more than 9,500
cases and 583 fatalities. In some areas of Haiti, we have confirmation
that in-patient statistics are under-reported by as much as 400%. There
is no question of under-reporting."
- At one-fourth the true number, it means around 38,000
affected people. Again, the totals grow daily, HOB believing "the
true statistic to be closer to more than 50k based on the degree of under-reporting.
This is an uncontrolled, uncontained epidemic of cholera that has exceeded
public health capacity to investigate and assess every site reported and
every sample received."
- Evidence also suggests that it spread cross border to
the Dominican Republic, HOB calling it "expected." It's confirmed
in multiple Haitian sites, including Port-au-Prince, the northwest, and
southern peninsula. Transmission modes include contaminated food and water
as well as human-to-human spread. Its presence in overcrowded Cite Soleil
has "dire implications" for the capital.
- HOB reports unconfirmed cases in Port-au-Prince's Carrefour
community. "Other areas have reported cholera such as Grand and Petit
Goave....Suspect (cases) have been reported in Les Cayes, Jacmel, and several
other rural communities in the southern peninsula. We assume it is highly
likely the epidemic has indeed extended to" this area. HOB concludes
- "The cholera epidemic in Haiti proceeds in an uncontrolled,
uncontained fashion and will likely encompass all of Haiti within a matter
- "Eventual regionalization of cholera in the Caribbean
is a strong possibility but not a certainty if the pandemic of the early
1990s is a guide." Haiti experienced no cholera for the past 50 years.
It's present now under very suspicious circumstances.
- Two Nations Delivering Promised Aid
- Virtually ignored in Western media reports, Cuba stands
out. For years, hundreds of its doctors, nurses, and other medical specialists
have provided Haitians with primary care, surgeries, and other professional
services. After the earthquake, they worked round the clock delivering
exemplary aid, helped by Venezuelan funding.
- Cuba's now playing a lead role in treating cholera victims.
On November 4, Argentine Dr. Emiliano Mariscal, a graduate of Cuba's Latin
American School of Medicine and member of its Haiti medical team, said:
- active "work is going forward. The Cuban Medical
Brigade (is) contributing to the fight against this terrible epidemic together
with Haitian authorities."
- He's one of 51 young Cuban graduates in the country,
an expression of "solidarity and internationalism" at a time
of need, "working arm in arm as one with (our) Cuban brothers and
teachers." Cuban medical providers will remain active "during
the cholera epidemic....Just ask any (Haitian about them) and you will
see their faces blossom."
- Venezuela also was one of the first countries to deliver
post-quake aid, sending fuel, hundreds of tons of food, medical supplies,
water purification systems, electrical generators, heavy equipment to remove
rubble, and more. Venezuela also immediately cancelled Haiti's debt.
- After the cholera outbreak, it sent more aid, including
a Ministry of Health team, 10,000 doses of medication, and 4,500 intravenous
drips and rehydration tablets, promising more will follow. Venezuela is
working cooperatively with the Union of South American Nations (Unasur),
a political and diplomatic multilateral regional body, each member country
committed to contribute resources, supplies and services.
- A Final Comment
- A previous article explained that on November 28, first
round legislative and presidential elections will be held. Democracy, however,
will be absent because the nation's most popular party, Aristide's Fanmi
Lavalas, and 13 others are excluded, the system rigged to "elect"
Washington friendly choices.
- Suppressing an orchestrated sham (a coup d'etat by other
means), US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice's September 24 Voice of America
(America's propaganda to the world) article headlined, "Supporting
Stability in Haiti," saying:
- "Peaceful and credible elections and the transfer
of power to a new government will be key milestones of Haiti's progress....(T)he
United States and the United Nations continue to help Haiti recover and
rebuild....The US along with the United Nations is committed to staying
with the Haitian people and helping" them.
- Clear evidence shows otherwise, a disgusting US-led effort
to militarize the country, obstruct aid, and divert funding for development,
not affected Haitians. Now, under impossible conditions, a force-fed sham
election, spreading cholera, exacerbated by flooding, and no aid whatever
from Washington. America is committed only to imperial wars, occupations,
and exploitation. Ask Haitians. They'll explain.
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached email@example.com.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge
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