Friday, November 12, 2010

UN asks for money for the Haiti cholera outbreak

The United Nations is asking the world to contribute 164 million dollars to stop the cholera outbreak in Haiti. Since the October discovery in northern Haiti, the outbreak has spread to the capital of Port-au-Prince. The numbers of cholera victims keep rising as well, with now 724 people dead from the disease, while another 11,000 have been hospitalized.

From the CBC, we find out more about the UN's appeal.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF), an emergency medical relief organization, said the outbreak has "taken grip" in Port-au-Prince.

"In the slum of Cité Soleil, located in the north of the city, yesterday we recorded 216 separate cases of cholera arriving at the hospital, while the total number recorded just five days ago was 30."

The government is working with relief organizations to increase the number of beds available to cholera patients by setting up 10 new cholera treatment centres to treat people with severe cases.

Funds will be used by the UN and non-governmental organizations to bring in additional doctors, medicine and water-purification equipment to treat up to 200,000 people who could show cholera symptoms ranging from mild diarrhea to severe dehydration, the global body said.

"We absolutely need this money as soon as possible," said Elisabeth Byrs, a spokeswoman for the UN humanitarian office.

She told reporters in Geneva that the funds need to be provided quickly "otherwise all our efforts can be outrun by the epidemic."

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