Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Court ruling expected on Gabon's contested election results

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Clinton's Comedy Turn

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Sarkozy's Populist Pivot, Bahamas Leaks, Syria Truce, Rome Olympic Bid (Part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US Police Shootings: Race relations and the race to the White House (Part 1)

Read more

#TECH 24

Breaking the wall between technology and people

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Rural France: Challenges and opportunities

Read more

REPORTERS

Video: In Burma, ex-political prisoners struggle to return to normal life

Read more

ENCORE!

Xavier Dolan: Wunderkind of Québecquois cinema

Read more

FOCUS

The battle for UK Labour’s leadership

Read more

Americas

UN launches inquiry into Haiti cholera epidemic

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-12-18

The United Nations has announced the creation of an independent investigation panel to determine the origins of the cholera epidemic that has killed more than 2,000 people in Haiti and which some locals have blamed on UN peacekeepers.

REUTERS - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on Friday the creation of an independent panel to investigate Haiti's cholera epidemic, which some Haitians have blamed on U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal.

More than 91,000 people have been sickened by cholera and over 2,000 have died in Haiti since the outbreak started in October. Last month, protesters stoned a U.N. patrol and shouted slogans accusing the U.N. mission of bringing the disease.
 
Last week, U.S. researchers reported that 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 with the accusations persisting, Ban said, "There remain fair questions and legitimate concerns that demand the best answer that science can provide."
 
He told reporters that after consulting World Health Organization chief Margaret Chan he was setting up an international panel that "will be completely independent and have full access to all U.N. premises and personnel."
 
Ban said names of those on the panel would be announced as soon as possible. Members would include an epidemiologist and a microbiologist, he added.
 
"We want to make the best effort to get to the bottom of this and find answers that the people of Haiti deserve," the U.N. chief said.
 
Cholera is caused by a bacterium that thrives in water. It is spread when infected fecal matter gets into unchlorinated water, seafood such as shellfish or other food.
 
U.N. investigations so far have focused on effluent from latrines at the Nepalese battalion headquarters. The U.N. mission, known as MINUSTAH, first went to Haiti in 2004 following civil strife in the Caribbean nation.
 
Ban noted that there were several theories on the origins of the cholera outbreak in Haiti and that "not all reports have reached the same conclusion."

 

Date created : 2010-12-18

  • Haiti

    Haiti cholera death toll climbs past 2,000 mark

    Read more

COMMENT(S)