Public and private sector interests team with USA to fight cholera in Haiti

Public and private sector efforts have helped beat back the tide of the cholera epidemic in Haiti in recent weeks.

Paul Weisenfeld, who served as Coordinator of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Haiti Task Team in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, revealed that while the mortality rate was 10 per cent at the peak of the epidemic, it is now down to two percent.

In Port-au-Prince, the mortality rate is down to less than one per cent.

He attributed this to aggressive prevention and treatment efforts by the international community.

Speaking to media at a press conference at the U.S. Embassy recently, Weisenfeld said that USAID had provided enough chlorine tablets to purify the water system for the entire municipal system for the next three months, and the international community will continue the effort. The Unites States has also been providing basic hygiene kits.

"...In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake .... while the mortality rate was 10 per cent at the peak of the epidemic, it is now down to two percent."

Weisenfeld also pointed to private sector initiatives, such as a text message campaign led by cellular providers that have sent out free hygiene and prevention messages to its customers.

Weisenfeld said that in a recent national survey, some 89 per cent of people said they had received cholera prevention and hygiene messages.

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