UN: Cholera-hit Haiti Needs More Medical Workers

Nurses help with the intravenous rehydration treatment for a cholera-afflicted Haitian baby. Photo by: Amanda George/British Red Cross

Haiti urgently needs around 1,000 trained nurses and at least 100 more doctors to stem the spread of cholera, according to the United Nations.

In an interview with Reuters on Nov. 24, Valerie Amos, the U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, stressed the need to do more, “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.” 

The death toll from the disease stood at 1,200 as of Nov. 22. But some experts believe the number could be higher, as some fatalities in remote areas were not being unreported.  

The reported cholera cases are nearing 50,000, according to the U.N. News Center. The final number, the World Health Organization estimates, could hit 400,000.

Meanwhile, the World Bank has announced it will allocate USD10 million of its USD479 million post-quake reconstruction support as cholera emergency grant for Haiti. The funding aims to strengthen the surveillance and monitoring capacity of the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population and National Directorate of Water Supply and Sanitation.

The Inter-American Development Bank and the Spanish government have also readied a USD20 million grant for the cholera response efforts in Haiti, according to Reuters.

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  • Eliza Villarino

    Eliza Villarino currently manages one of today’s leading publications on humanitarian aid, global health and international development, the weekly GDB. At Devex, she has helped grow a global newsroom, with talented journalists from major development hubs such as Washington, D.C, London and Brussels. She regularly writes about innovations in global development.