Last October the claims that the UN had introduced the disease into Haiti were initially denied but in May this year the United Nations released a long-awaited report indicating that human waste from Nepalese peacekeepers along with dirty drinking water likely triggered the spread of the cholera epidemic that has gripped Haiti since October 2010.
As of last week the cholera outbreak in Haiti has caused 473,649 cases 251,885 hospitalizations and 6,631 deaths. The number of deaths is thought to be an underestimate.
The situation is worsening in the rainy season.
… MSF teams have seen a marked increase in the number of patients admitted. “In one month we went from less than 300 admissions per week to over 850, which suggests a worsening situation in the coming weeks” indicated Romain Gitenet, MSF Head of Mission.
… Shanchol is still relatively unproven and it is claimed to provide a 2 year protection to about 67% of those treated.
… Shanchol has been approved in an accelerated process only in September this year after a trial which only began in Bangladesh in February 2011. The speed of approval is more than a little surprising. The program in Haiti does therefore seem to be a little experimental but I suppose that the difference between $1.85 for Shanchol or or $40 for Dukoral is quite compelling.
I just hope that after having introduced cholera in the first place, the vaccination program does not fall flat on its face and is not something being driven by the manufacturers of the vaccine Sanofi Pasteur through their Indian subsidiary Shantha Biotechnics.