Haiti: At least seven deaths from cholera were reported in Haiti on Sunday, marking an unexpected return of the disease at a time when the country is crippled by a gang blockade that has led to a shortage of clean drinking water and fuel .
The disease outbreak in 2010 killed 10,000 people and was attributed to UN peacekeeping forces. In 2020, the Pan American Health Organization reported that Haiti was free of cholera for a full year.
"Based on the information we have currently, the number of deaths is around 7 to 8," he said, adding that officials were having trouble getting data from hospitals. "One person passed away today."
Earlier, the health ministry had reported one case in the Port-au-Prince region and suspected cases in Cait Soleil, a town outside the capital that sparked vicious gang turf wars in July.
Gangs have been barricading the country's main fuel port since last month to protest the announcement of hike in fuel prices. Due to the lack of fuel to run the generators, many hospitals have had to close or reduce their operations.
Most citizens can no longer use basic transit.
Caribbean Bottling Company, a major bottled water supplier, announced on Sunday that it can no longer produce and distribute water due to a shortage of diesel fuel, which is essential to its supply chain.
Uncontrolled diarrhea is a symptom of cholera. Clean drinking water is essential to prevent the spread of the disease as it is usually spread through water contaminated with the feces of a sick person.
Troops from Nepal, where cholera is endemic, were in Haiti as part of a UN peacekeeping force established after the overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004. After the 2010 Haiti earthquake, the size of the force was increased.
In 2016, the United Nations issued an apology for the outbreak without admitting blame.
A 2011 report by an impartial panel that was appointed by Ban Ki-moon, the then UN Secretary-General, did not give a definitive explanation about cholera's entry into Haiti.
Panelists independently published an article in 2013 concluding that UN peacekeeping personnel were the "most likely source".