November 24, 2010
Haiti needs at least 1,000 more nurses and 100 doctors to stem deaths from its cholera epidemic, the UN’s top humanitarian official has said.
Health workers in Haiti are also having to cope with shortages of almost all necessary equipment, Valerie Amos said during a visit to the country.
The Haitian government says more than 1,400 people have died.
Meanwhile, the World Bank has announced a $10m (£6.3m) emergency grant for Haiti.
In Haiti, the UN humanitarian chief said doctors and nurses across Haiti were overwhelmed and their efforts were being hampered by dire shortages of necessary supplies, from soap to body bags.
“We clearly need to do more,” Baroness Amos told the Reuters news agency during a visit to the Haitian capital Port-au-Prince.
“But it’s not just money, it’s crucially people, in terms of getting more doctors, nurses, more people who can help with the awareness-raising and getting information out there,” she said.
The UN would reach out to countries and aid organisations with the potential to rapidly supply medical staff, she said – for example Cuba, which already has about 400 doctors and other health workers in Haiti.
“We have to control the outbreak and we have to bring down the percentage of people who are dying, and we have to do that as a matter of urgency.”
UN officials have said that the international response to an appeal for $164m to help combat the cholera epidemic in Haiti has been insufficient.
Announcing its grant of $10m in emergency aid to Haiti, the World Bank said the cash was to be used partly to support non-profit organisations.
Officials in Haiti say that more than 25,000 people are being treated in hospital with cholera symptoms and that the epidemic is spreading twice as fast as had been estimated.
A spokesman for the aid organisation Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) told the BBC the disease was spreading so fast that whenever MSF opened a new treatment centre it immediately filled up with patients.
Full Article Here – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-11835859