Nearly half million Haitians in line for cholera vaccinations
PORT-AU-PRINCE – Authorities are teaming up with two United Nations agencies on a vaccination campaign against cholera that aims to reach 400,000 people in Haiti this year.
The Ministry of Public Health and Population has secured the support of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The first phase of the campaign was launched on May 11 in the town of Arcahaie, about 30 minutes north of the capital, with the aim of providing two doses of oral vaccine to some 118,000 people between this month and the next.
A second phase of the vaccination campaign is planned for the second half of the year, but officials say nearly 563,785 additional doses are required for it to be successful.
For both phases of the campaign, an initial budget of about US $3.6 million has been provided.
Previous campaigns of vaccination against cholera reached 285,534 people – 102,250 in 2013 and 183,284 in 2014.
The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has stressed the importance, given the increase in the population, of increasing access to clean water and sanitation in exposed areas as key to eliminating the disease.
In the first quarter of 2016, MINUSTAH’s Civil Affairs programme approved or began work on 17 Quick Intervention Projects worth some US $845,380 to prevent cholera and other water-borne diarrheal diseases.
The 17 projects are expected to reach over 220,000 beneficiaries in seven out of the 10 departments of the country.
Of these, three deal with renovations or extensions to health centres in the West Centre and Grande Anse respectively, while 14 relate to the construction, renovation or extension of local drinking water systems.
The largest of these, in the Village Solidarité in the West Department, is expected to assure clean drinking water for some 75,000 beneficiaries.