Haiti’s cholera death toll rises to 136 as outbreak gets ‘worse and worse every day’
Cholera is raging in Haiti, with the number of victims rising to 136 on Monday – the worst-ever toll for the disease – as the international community prepares to respond to the humanitarian crisis.
Health ministry chief Dr. Jean Mark Abranche told reporters that he has no idea how many people have died, but the number of cases now stands at 6,250 across the territory.
He said there is “an awful lot of misery among the people of Haiti” and called the epidemic one of the worst ever in the country’s history.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, and its cholera cases have been on the rise since its devastating earthquake in January 2010.
The country’s hospitals have been unable to build up enough capacity to treat the flood of patients.
At least 3,200 people arrived in Haiti in October 2011, and experts say another 3,400 are awaiting medical care in makeshift centers and other makeshift facilities, most of them in Port-au-Prince.
The health ministry has reported 1,700 cases in the first four months of the current year, with thousands more expected to get sick in coming weeks. Abranche said the “dreadful picture” was being made by the cholera data.
Haiti has had more than 4,300 cases of cholera and 4,200 deaths as of August 25, the most recent data available from the World Health Organization. But the latest figures don’t include the people still in hospital waiting for treatment.
The number of deaths in Haiti increased by nearly 600 on Saturday, reaching a daily rate of more than 150 people. Abranche said the ministry had received more than 80,000 calls, but only 1,000 had been attended to.
More than 7,000 cases of cholera were registered on Monday alone, the health ministry said, with the total number of cases almost tri