PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti -- As a consequence of Hurricane Matthew, during October 2016, the number of suspected cases of cholera in Haiti increased sharply from 2,377 in September to 4,985 in October. Some 48 percent of these new suspect cases were reported in the departments of Grand'Anse and the South. Before the hurricane the proportion was about eight percent of suspect cases.
Rainfall vs cholera cases in Haiti since January 2015
In November, the situation in areas affected by Matthew improved, with a 25 percent decrease in the number of suspected cases between October and November, from 2,400 to 1,800 suspected cases. The national trend followed this same curve with a control of the disease in this period yet the most at risk, thanks to the increased means of treatment, response (teams of rapid response increased threefold) and prevention (vaccination campaign).
From January to November 2016 there were 39,329 new cases of cholera (+24 percent) compared to the same period in 2015, and 420 new deaths (+41 percent) compared to the same period in 2015, HaitiLibre reported.
From October 2010 to November 2016 there have been 801,000 cases and 9,408 deaths from cholera.
Cholera persists in Haiti due to: underfunding of the National Cholera Elimination Plan (45 percent financed -- $9.2 million out of $20.3 million); poor access to safe drinking water and sanitation; lack of access to quality medical care; lack of knowledge of socio-cultural factors related to this problem; high population density and mobility to urban areas.