Haiti needs a “Marshall plan” for water and sanitation to quell a cholera epidemic which poses a major threat to the Caribbean and Latin America, according to the UN assistant secretary general.
Pedro Medrano Rojas, who is co-ordinating the response in Haiti, is visiting European capitals this week to drum up support for the faltering effort to deal with an epidemic that has killed 8,540 since 2010 and infected almost 700,000 people.
Studies have shown the cholera strain was probably introduced to the country by UN troops from Nepal, who were deployed in Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake that killed more than 217,000 people.
Evidence suggests the outbreak of cholera, which is endemic in Nepal, occurred when contaminated sewage was discharged from barracks into a watercourse. Cholera is spread through infected faeces. Once it enters the water supply, it is difficult to contain, especially in a country such as Haiti, which has almost no effective sewage disposal systems. via | theguardian.com