Tag Archive | "port au prince"

Haiti Waiting to Rebuild Year after the Quake

A dead man’s body was uncovered last week in the rubble left of a Port-au-Prince restaurant one year after the destructive earthquake occurred.

Human bodies still being discovered in the ruins are a sign of how far Haiti must go through to recover from the catastrophe that left the capital city of Haiti in despair. More than 230,000 people were estimated to have been killed by the January 12 earthquake.

Days after the disaster, hundreds of volunteers and aid groups went to offer food, water and first aid treatment and had saved numerous lives. However, the effort to rebuild the nation has been stunted by the evident need and lack of leadership, both in the country and internationally.

Days after the quake, Haiti President Rene Preval did not speak publicly. Several observers criticized him for not making firm policy decisions and leading the clear efforts to reconstruct the country. Yet, advocacy groups blame the country’s weakness on maintaining an international community that will keep their pledge of support.

Preval along with his wife and other officials laid flowers at the symbolic black crosses that marked a mass grave where hundreds of thousands of quake’s victims were killed, outside the capital on Tuesday.

From the desolate side of the country, the destruction that the quake caused is still visible. Millions of people remain homeless and not more than 5 percent of the ruins have been cleared. A cholera epidemic also occurred that killed thousands of people after the Quake.

Overall, reconstruction efforts were held back by the failure to deliver the billions of dollars in promised aid.

Prime Minister Jean-Maz Bellerive, the U.N. special envoy for Haiti said that while everyone is talking about Haiti’s resilience, the efforts to rebuild the future will depend on the basics, and that is what they should do right now.

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Suspected Cholera Outbreak in Haiti Kills Nearly 140 People

An outbreak of suspected cholera had killed nearly 140 people in central Haiti according to the Haitian health officials on Thursday. Since the January 12 earthquake, this is the country’s biggest medical crisis.

The Haitian health authorities had already informed the World Health Organization regarding their 138 deaths and about 1,526 cases so far in the outbreak that is centered on Lower Artibonite region, north of the Port-au-Prince capital. Some cases were also listed in the area of Central Plateau.

Local hospitals in Haiti were overwhelmed with the tremendous  number of patients admitted, most of which are suffering from acute diarrhea. The Haitian officials informed that the victims are rapidly dying from dehydration in just a matter of hours.

Medical teams that have been giving assistance to Haiti since the disaster that occurred on January 12 have set out to the outbreak area.

However, the World Health Organization, as well as the United Nations could not confirm yet if the cause of the outbreak is cholera. They are still waiting for the final results of the laboratory tests that were taken from the samples of the dead and sick victim.

But, Dr. Gabriel Thimote, the Haitian Health Department Director General and Alex Larsen, the Health Minister said that the initial testing suggested cholera even though Haiti does not have any history of recent cholera outbreaks.

Cholera is a disease transmitted through contaminated water and food. This causes watery diarrhea and severe dehydration, which can kill in few hours when not immediately treated.

Yet, experts say that there are about 80 percent of cholera cases that can be successfully treated through oral rehydration salts. However, safe water and good sanitation are still important to help reduce the cases of cholera and other waterborne diseases.

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