Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

US media reacts to ebola scare

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

I will support Hillary Clinton, will.i.am tells France 24

Read more

FOCUS

Germany: Spread of radical Islam propaganda sparks concerns

Read more

ENCORE!

Corrie Nielsen: Up and Coming Talent at Paris Fashion Week

Read more

FACE-OFF

French Senate election: A new blow for Hollande

Read more

ENCORE!

Encore's Film Show: Julie Gayet, Denzel Washington, and cartoon madness

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Turkey's strategy towards the Islamic State group

Read more

Americas

Haiti authorities make water the focus of cholera fight

Video by Laurence CUVILLIER

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2010-10-28

A cholera epidemic nearing Haiti's squalid tent cities threatens to compound the country's humanitarian disaster. FRANCE 24 reports on the efforts to test and treat water stocks.

The cholera epidemic that has claimed almost 300 lives and spread to some 4,700 Haitians since last week is yet to peak, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday. The rate of cholera deaths has declined since the outbreak. However, the disease is spreading, according to data released Wednesday by the country’s health ministry, with new cases confirmed in the country's north.

WHO officials have also expressed concern for the estimated 1.3 million people who were displaced by January’s devastating earthquake, and have been crammed into makeshift dwellings in the capital of Port-au-Prince.

The squalid tent cities, overrun with common latrines and stagnant pools of sewage, are especially vulnerable to contamination. City officials are monitoring the quality of the water -- a means of cholera’s propagation -- which is distributed daily to the tents’ inhabitants.

Only a few cholera cases have been reported in Port-au-Prince, but officials said the patients had contracted the disease outside the capital.

Water at the heart of concerns

With the recent outbreak of cholera, even water tanks belonging to international aid organisations have come under suspicion. Authorities have launched a campaign to control the levels of chlorine, an effective agent in arresting the disease.

"I have been finding water with low chlorine levels, others have none at all. It's risky,” says Roosevelt Pauri, a Port-au-Prince official in charge of analyzing the quality of drinking water.

The potential for an outbreak in these camps could push a barely manageable humanitarian disaster further into chaos. Haitian authorities and aid workers have focused their efforts on treating water stocks in the hope of preventing a catastrophic scenario.

Date created : 2010-10-28

  • HAITI

    Cholera to 'settle' in Haiti, health experts say

    Read more

  • HAITI

    Haiti toll rising as cholera outbreak reaches capital

    Read more

  • HAITI

    Fears mounting as cholera outbreak reaches Haiti capital

    Read more

COMMENT(S)