Saturday, November 27, 2010

POVERTY IN HAITI

"Nearly one month after cholera took hold, the confirmed fatalities have risen to 917. This  Sans Frontieres (MSF)  medical facility in the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince has 70 beds but is receiving 300 cases a day. "They are arriving in large numbers. Our hospital is completely full," said Caroline Seguin, emergency coordinator for MSF. "We're even having to refuse referrals because we know we are unable to treat them. While cholera can be successfully treated with oral rehydration salts or intravenous fluids, it can kill if not treated quickly. The only way to prevent the spread of cholera is to avoid drinking water or eating food that is contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholera, but in tent cities waterborne cholera can spread easily through shared sanitation, washing and cooking facilities. An estimated 1.3 million Haitians are living in refugee camps around the capital since an earthquake devastated the city in January." (Daily Telegraph, 16 November) RD

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