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REPORTED CHOLERA CASES IN HAITI RISE TO 72,000 – UN AGENCY

By UN
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30 November - The number of reported cases of cholera in Haiti has risen to just over 72,000, including 1,648 deaths, the United Nations health agency said today, noting that fewer deaths are now being recorded than earlier in the epidemic, which erupted in late October.

The case mortality rate now stands at 2.3 per cent, Fadela Chaib, spokesperson for the UN World Health Organization (WHO), told reporters in Geneva.

There are now 40 cholera treatment centres in the country with a an average capacity of 100 to 200 beds each, Ms. Chaib said, adding that the 61 cholera treatments units – small units established in hospitals and health centres – had an average capacity of 20 beds each.

Ten additional cholera treatment centres and 39 cholera treatments units are required, as well as 350 more doctors, 2,000 nurses, 2,200 support staff and 30,000 community health workers, Ms. Chaib said. The community health workers would mostly work in rural villages, where needs are greatest, she added.

Meanwhile, a survey carried out among 37 aid groups providing health care by Haiti's Ministry of Public Health and Population has identified key challenges to the cholera response, Elisabeth Byrs, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said.

These include the removal of the bodies of the dead, the disposal of medical waste, the identification of sites on which to set up health centres, and a lack of trained personnel.

On funding, Ms. Byrs said some $32.9 million of the $164 million humanitarian agencies are seeking for the cholera emergency has been received as of today.