Cholera fight on in Hispaniola

Officials in Haiti and the Dominican Republic are preparing for a long campaign against cholera, the water-borne disease that has sickened tens of thousands of people in the two neighbouring Caribbean countries.

Dominican Deputy Minister of Public Health Rafael Schiffino says the two governments are working on a project to wipe out the disease on Hispaniola by 2022. The plan will include substantial spending on clean water and sanitation.

A bilateral meeting on the plan started Monday in the 
Dominican Republic.

Last month, Medical Officer of Health in the Cayman Islands Dr. Kiran Kumar, in an update on the cholera situation in Cuba, reported that no new cases had been reported.

Dr. Kumar said Cuban authorities had reported 417 confirmed cholera cases and three deaths in Manzanillo in Granma province.

Travellers to Cuba were nonetheless being advised to contact their doctor immediately if they develop watery diarrhoea and vomiting within 
five days of leaving Cuba.

“It is also important to state their travel history to their doctor. This advisory is applicable to travellers to Haiti and Dominican Republic including other countries in the region affected by cholera,” Dr. Kumar said.

Cholera emerged suddenly in Haiti in October 2010. Experts say it was likely introduced by United Nations peacekeepers. Since then, the disease has killed 7,000 people and sickened about 300,000 in Haiti. There have been 22,000 cases and 350 deaths in the 
Dominican Republic.

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