Friday, January 07, 2011

UN announces panel to investigate source of Haiti's cholera

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has introduced the members of the panel who will investigate the source of the cholera outbreak in Haiti. Many Haitians and scientists believe that the source of the outbreak was from Nepalese UN Peacekeepers station in Haiti. Over 3,400 Haitians have died from the cholera epidemic.

From Reuters, writer Patrick Worsnip attended the announcement of who will be on the investigative panel.

Last month, U.S. researchers reported the cholera strain came from south Asia and mostly closely resembled one circulating in Bangladesh. The United Nations has so far said there is no scientific evidence the Nepalese battalion is responsible and all tests on its troops have proved negative.

But when he announced on December 17 the plan to create an independent panel of inquiry, Ban said, "There remain fair questions and legitimate concerns that demand the best answer that science can provide."

Ban said Thursday the panel would be chaired by Alejandro Cravioto, who is Mexican but works at the International Center for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh.

The other three members are Claudio Lanata of the Instituto de Investigacion Nutritional in Peru, Daniele Lantagne of Harvard University in the United States, and Balakrish Nair of India's National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases.

The panel will review all information and data available to date and travel to Haiti to conduct investigations on the ground, Ban's spokesman, Martin Nesirky, said in a statement.

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