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 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)
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery | Staff ([jep kft gp apr), AlterPresse. According to Haitian Director General of the Department of Public Health and Population (MSPP), Gabriel Timothee, initial tests of a cholera vaccine are scheduled to start in Haiti in February in "disadvantaged areas" of Port-au-Prince and the Plateau Central [meaning on poor folk in Cite Soleil and the region most impoverished by the collapse of farming]. “Studies of the vaccination will be conducted in collaboration with a center called Haitian Studies of Kaposi syndrome and opportunistic infections (Gheskio) and Zanmi Lasante (Partners in Health, PIH).” This is worrying because Kaposi syndrome and opportunistic infections are associated with AIDS, not cholera. (English | French)
By Rashid Haider, Haiti Chery | Editorial Comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. From the moment cholera appeared in Haiti, a series of “experts” started to promote oral cholera vaccines for the country in articles that did not require a declaration of conflicts of interest or a critical review by independent scientists who study cholera. Here Rashid Haider, who is knowledgeable about the cholera trials in Bangladesh and Peru, provides a devastating rebuttal of the most recent of such articles, which extensively quotes Paul Farmer and appeared in the January 12th issue of Scientific American. DC
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Haiti’s Ministry of Health finally gave in and officially announced the beginning of a vaccination campaign against cholera, after one year of pressure from the UN’s Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The proposed vaccine, called Shanchol, is wrought with scandal, and preparations for use in developing countries contain the dangerous mercury-based preservative thiomersal. UPDATED Jan 15, 2012. (English | French)
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Dr. Renaud Piarroux led a team including Haitian epidemiologists that tracked Haiti’s cholera to the Nepalese MINUSTAH base in October 2010. One of the conclusions made by him and his team is that there must have been U.N. soldiers on the base visibly and seriously ill with cholera. Piarroux argues that Haiti’s cholera can be eradicated with vigilence, good waste treatment, and clean drinking water and suggests that the U.N. should pay the bill for this. DC (English | French)
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. It took nearly a year to provide conclusive scientific proof that Haiti’s cholera came from Nepal because, despite an epidemiological link of the disease to a UN “peacekeepers” base full of Nepalese troops, scientists had not bothered to compare the cholera from Haiti to cholera from Nepal. (English | French)
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Hurricane Tomas swept through the Grande Anse region (south west) of Haiti last weekend, destroying over 1,000 homes and killing more than 30 people, according to the Haitian news. I would challenge readers to find the words “Grande Anse” in any recent English-language news item about Haiti.