Haiti Cholera Response December 2014

Situation Report
Originally published
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Since the emergence of cholera in Haiti in October 2010, the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) has recorded 719,377 suspected cases and 8,767 cholera-related deaths as of 30 November 2014 . Despite severe infrastructure and financial constraints, concerted Haitian and international efforts have succeeded in drastically reducing the number of reported cholera cases in Haiti – down from a peak of over 350,000 reported cases for 2011, to 21,916 reported cases for 2014, from 1 January to 30 November . The persistence of cholera in Haiti is mainly due to the lack of access to clean water and appropriate sanitation facilities, and although considerable improvements have been made in this regard, Haiti continues to host the largest cholera epidemic in the Western Hemisphere. Structural issues such as weak water, sanitation and health systems enable cholera, acute diarrhoea and other waterborne diseases to persist. Haiti has fallen further behind the rest of the region in sanitation coverage since 1990, with the most excluded population living in rural areas . More than one third of the population lacks access to safe water (47 per cent lack access in rural areas). Cholera is still an emergency in Haiti and continued coordinated efforts are vital to sustainably eliminate the disease. The UN and international partners have made eliminating cholera from Haiti a top priority since 2010 and strengthening the Government’s capacity to respond to cholera remains the central objective behind the UN efforts. The UN reiterates their ongoing commitment to work closely with international partners in coordination with the Government of Haiti (GoH) and continue the system-wide effort that supports the key pillars of the Government’s national plan.

The joint GoH and United Nations High-level Committee for the Elimination of Cholera in Haiti has held four meetings in Port-au-Prince: in May, July, October and November 2014. The last meeting provided an opportunity for members of the joint committee to reassert their commitment to eliminate cholera in Haiti and to move forward with an agreed strategy for the accompaniment of affected communities. The signing of an "Accord de Principe" was agreed upon, and is planned to be cleared as soon as terminology is accepted by both sides.