By Wedlyne Jacques, AlterPresse | Translation by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. No water from the taps of Cap Haitien residents since early 2012. And they must walk several kilometers to reach a source of water. Some people report that they wake up as early as 2:00 to 5:00 am to queue for half a day to buy water that is not even fit for drinking. (English | French)
Press Release from Cuban Ministry of Public Health, Granma, Cuba Debate. With epidemiological vigilance, public education, and appropriate treatment, Cuban public health workers completely ended in two months what might have become a major cholera epidemic and limited a cholera outbreak to three deaths and 417 cases. (English|Spanish)
PRESS RELEASE, UN via RadioTV Caraibes | Translation by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. The heads of the UN peacekeeping missions forces in the Congo (MONUSCO), Haiti (MINUSTAH) and South Sudan (MISNUSS) said today to keep in mind that these operations have broad mandates: from classical peacekeeping to conflict mitigation, and even the fight against cholera. (English | French)
Interview of Drew Aiken, Defend Haiti | stophaitideportations.org | Press TV, YouTube. The U.S. has resumed the deportation of about 50 Haitians per month to Haiti since January 2011. Some of the deportees get detained in Haiti, including 34 year-old Wildrick Guerrier who died in prison of cholera. Many deportees have medical conditions for which they cannot get care or have U.S.-citizen children in the States whom they cannot support. Human Rights groups are calling for a consideration of humanitarian factors and a stop to the deportations.
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery (English) | Renaud Piarroux and Claire Hedon, Priorite Sante (French). Contrary to the daily predictions of mayhem from the mainstream press about Haiti’s cholera epidemic, Dr. Renaud Piarroux, who has access to up-to-date medical information and laboratory results about the epidemic, says it is waning and now exists only as a series of clusters in the North of the country. Based on his extensive experience in controlling epidemics of tropical diseases, he adds that cholera could be completely eradicated from Haiti in a few months, but not by the oral vaccination campaign promoted by Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population. (English | French)
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. A medical trial in Haiti — presumably of the oral cholera vaccine Shanchol — on poor women and children is being presented as a vaccination campaign. To avoid possible abuse it is essential that the Declaration of Helsinki guidelines be followed. The medical trial should be monitored by a panel of impartial observers; potential medical subjects should be advised of their rights, including the fact that they are entitled to informed consent, health monitoring, and participation that is voluntary, without coercion and with the option to withdraw at any time. UPDATES: April 12, Additional information about involvement of Harvard scientists in promoting oral vaccines for Haiti. April 17, Information on Shanta’s manufacture of the pentavalent vaccine Shan5 recommended for recall and destruction by the World Health Organization.
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. The epidemiological information about Haiti’s cholera outbreak is brought together with up-to-date molecular biology evidence, in an article by Dr. Renaud Piarroux and his colleagues, to make an ironclad scientific case about a United Nations (UN) MINUSTAH Nepalese base being the source of Haiti’s cholera contamination. The epidemic is attributed directly to the inadequate medical surveillance of 1,280 UN personnel who were taken to Nepal to train during an epidemic and the unsanitary practices at the base to which they came, upriver from the towns of St. Marc and Mirebalais, Haiti.
By Mergenat Exalus, AlterPresse | Translation and editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. The northern Haitian city of Gonaives has been without water since a sabotage of three water pumping stations last December. The forced dependence of the Haitian population on bottled water, uninspected by local health authorities, poses a grave danger. (English | French)
By Aline Sainsoivil, Le Matin | Translation and editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) presented a plan to strengthen its “Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI)” at a meeting on Monday, March 12, with UN organizations UNICEF, PAHO, and WHO. Might this strengthened EPI involve a plan to administer oral cholera vaccines? (English | French)
By Rashid Haider, Haiti Chery. Prof. Richard A. Finkelstein, an eminent microbiologist and Nobel-Prize nominee for his pioneering studies on cholera, advises that for cholera “the best solution resides in providing safe drinking water and sewage disposal.” In Dec 2010, alarmed by the oral vaccination plans for Haiti, he wrote to the health officials, including Jon Andrus, the Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) that the proposed use of Dukoral was “a useless and expensive waste of resources.” This vaccine was not adopted, but a campaign immediately started for the use of Shanchol, another questionable oral cholera vaccine. (English | French)
Music by Don Kato, Boukman Eksperyans, Vwadezil, You Tube | Introduction by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Nearly every Haitian Carnival 2012 song is an indictment of the current state of affairs — corruption, cholera, rapes, MINUSTAH. We dance to it all. We’re not partying to forget but to remember. The truth does not take away our joy. By all means, drop all inhibition and get those hips rolling. (songs in Creole)
By Claire Provost, The Guardian | Editorial note by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. A policy of “tied aid” has until now required that USAID foreign aid funds be spent on goods and services exclusively from U.S. companies. This policy has been changed to allow USAID to buy many goods and services from developing countries, but not food aid, motor vehicles, or U.S.-patented pharmaceuticals. Given the USAID tradition of creating a need for its aid, it is easy to guess what its next moves will be.
By staff, AHP | Editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. The Haitian Senate has strongly condemned the latest rape of a boy on Jan 20th by Pakistani UN soldiers and noted that in such cases it is the law of the place where the crime is committed that should prevail. Given the more serious crime of 7,000 cholera deaths, of which the UN is accused, a broader resolution calling for a general lifting of immunity from all MINUSTAH personnel would be appropriate and welcome. UPDATE on March 13th: UN announces it has tried the most recent rapists in a court martial and “repatriated them to their home” to serve out a 1-year prison sentence.
By Thalif Deen, IPS. Compared to the 5.4-billion dollar budget for the U.N. in 2010-11, the 2012-13 budget will be cut by 260 million dollars. Although this is a cut of less than 5%, the news are still significant because, since its inception over 50 years ago, the U.N. has expanded every year, except for one instance 14 years ago. (English | Spanish)