Monday, November 14, 2011

NY Times reports on Cuba's Lead Role in Haiti’s Cholera Fight

The New York Times has reported on the Cuban medical mission to Haiti:
There is no doubt that the Cuban mission has been vital [in Mirebelais, Haiti]. It was among the largest international aid contingents to respond after the January 2010 earthquake that tumbled Haiti into crisis. And since the cholera outbreak, the mission has treated more than 76,000 cases of the disease, with just 272 fatalities — a much lower ratio, at 0.36 percent, than the average across Haiti as a whole, in which 1.4 percent of cases ended in death, according to the Health Ministry.

“We work a lot on the education of the population,” said Dr. Lorenzo Somarriba, the chief of the Cuban medical mission. “We send people to the homes of the victims and educate them on the disease and provide them with tabs to clean the water. This is absolutely vital.” Such purification tablets have been critical in a country where treated water is rare.