U.N. Head Warns Electoral Unrest Could Impede Efforts To Fight Cholera Epidemic

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CaribWorldNews, UNITED NATIONS, NY, Tues. Nov. 30, 2010: United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for a speedy solution to the political crisis in Haiti.

His call came a day after the November 28th first round of elections. Ban warned Monday that worsening security would hamper efforts to fight the cholera epidemic in a country already devastated by January`s earthquake.

`The Secretary-General is concerned following the incidents that marked the first round of the presidential and legislative elections in Haiti on Sunday,` a statement issued by Ban`s spokesman said.

`The Secretary-General looks forward to a solution to the political crisis in the country and calls on the Haitian people and all political actors to remain calm, since any deterioration in the security situation will have an immediate impact on the efforts to contain the ongoing cholera epidemic.`
So far, 12 of the 18 presidential candidates have repudiated the vote and their supporters have mounted protests.

Meanwhile, the number of cholera cases and deaths continues to rise with no significant shift in the overall situation, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported Monday, noting that the north of the country remains the area with the highest caseload.

As of the end of last week, more than 1,600 people have died and some 50,000 have been infected since the epidemic began in October.

The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), the regional arm of the UN World Health Organization (WHO), estimated that as many as 400,000 people could become ill, with half of those cases in the coming three months. Calculations reflect a worst case scenario that is avoidable if all sectors of society and health partners are able to step up their actions.

Haiti is still struggling to recover from the January quake, which killed some 200,000 people and displaced more than 1 million others, many of whom are still living in crowded camps.

 

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