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AP Interview: Expert says Haiti has worst cholera
Aggravating the situation will be the withdrawal of humanitarian workers who leave because of a lack of funding, the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said Tuesday.
That means fewer drainage services and less maintenance on the latrines aid workers set up in the settlement camps.
Out of 12,000 latrines needed, only about a third were reported to be working in August, down from more than 5,800 the month before, OCHA said. Meanwhile, the number of nonfunctional latrines more than doubled, from about 1,300 in July to about 2,600 in August.
Also, more than 1,000 latrines have been abandoned, leading to outdoor defecation, which heightens the risk of contamination for people living in the camps.
The United Nations Office for Project Services and the government’s water and sanitation agency halted the cleaning of latrines at the end of August because of lack of funding, OCHA said.
Despite the spread of cholera, Farmer said it was possible to wipe out the disease by improving Haiti’s water system and sanitation. The use of education and oral vaccines is also important, he added.
“To eradicate cholera we’re going to have to vaccinate huge numbers of people,” Farmer said. “It’s going to require a massive campaign like polio.”
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