About Careers MedBlog Contact us

UN Blamed for the Cholera Epidemic in Haiti

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on January 10, 2015 at 5:31 PM
Font : A-A+

 UN Blamed for the Cholera Epidemic in Haiti

The United Nations (UN) has been blamed for the ongoing cholera epidemic in Haiti, demolished by an earthquake 5 years back. The UN has denied legal responsibility for cholera outbreak that has killed 8,000 Haitians, but all scientific evidence points to poor sanitation at a peacekeeping base of the UN troops.

Victims of the disease are trying to sue for damages in a US court, but the UN and its donor states are hiding behind the legal immunity conferred on it by its founding treaties. A judge in New York is due to decide whether or not the lawsuit, a class action brought by Haitian and Haitian-American victims of the cholera outbreak, can go ahead against the UN.


The outbreak started in Mirebalais, a central town on the Artibonite River, downstream of a Nepalese peacekeeping base where local people reported frequent sewerage overflows. However, the World Health Organization's (WHO) resident representative in Haiti, Jean Luc Poncelet, said, "Seeking to blame someone distracts from the vital work of containing the disease. The question is not accusing people. Why we have cholera is that for many years there's been no investment in infrastructure such as water distribution systems. Cholera was due to arrive in Haiti one day, that's very clear."

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, "The United Nations has a moral responsibility to help the Haitian people as they attempt to halt the spread of the disease." Treatment centers have been set up and the WHO is working with the Red Cross to treat huge numbers of cholera cases. Survival rates have gone up but the suffering continues, in an impoverished country which already had a fragile health infrastructure before the earthquake and before the cholera arrived.

The UN is trying to seek more donor money for the treatment and prevention of cholera, and the infrastructural improvements that would protect Haiti from future outbreaks.

Source: Medindia


Recommended Reading

Latest General Health News

 People Living Close to the Seaside Enjoy Better Health
Direct coastal access may represent a viable route to public health promotion, but the relationships of coastal living are not strongest among lower-income groups.
 Over Four Million Gardeners Place Their Hearing in Danger
New research by Tinnitus UK has found that over four million gardeners are putting their hearing capacity at risk this summer without using safety protection.
Breaking the Barrier: Unraveling Mucus Plugs to Save Lives in COPD
Mucus plugs could be targeted to help reduce fatalities from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
 Disease Modifying Therapies for Multiple Sclerosis Continue to Drive Up Healthcare Cost
The development of reliable curative therapies for multiple sclerosis could significantly reduce the economic burden of the disease on patients and wider society.
 New Genetic Variant Provides Protection Against Alzheimer's Disease
A genetic variant in a patient protected from autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease (ADAD) suggests a role for RELN signaling in resilience to dementia.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

UN Blamed for the Cholera Epidemic in Haiti Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests