Statement by Raphael Hamoir, CARE Haiti Interim Country Director:
“After more than three years with no cases of cholera recorded in Haiti, on October 2, national authorities reported two confirmed cases in the greater Port-au-Prince area. But with now more than 100 suspected cases, it’s feared these numbers may be just the tip of the iceberg.
Memories of last decade’s cholera outbreak, that killed nearly 10,000 people, are still fresh for some, and in a country where almost 40% of the population are facing acute food insecurity, and the quality and supply of water services are severely compromised, the humanitarian situation could rapidly worsen. The fuel crisis and civil unrest are hampering humanitarian response and limiting the delivery of health services, resulting in potentially devastating consequences for those seeking treatment for cholera and other life-threatening illnesses.
CARE is particularly concerned about the impact on vulnerable groups, including pregnant and lactating women, and young children. It’s crucial that communities can access clean drinking water and sanitation, as well as health care services. CARE is ready to provide much-needed hygiene awareness training and hygiene kits that include essential items such as soap, water purification tablets and hand sanitizer. We need to slow the spread of cholera and respond to food insecurity now to avoid needless suffering and loss of life, but without unhindered humanitarian access, we fear the worst.”