Press note

The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation is concerned about a new spread of cholera in Haiti, affecting vulnerable children

Victim of a deleterious socio-political and economic situation associated with a fuel crisis, Haitian families still seem to be plunged into total worry. This concern becomes deeper following the announcement made by the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) on the reappearance of cases of cholera detected in the commune of Cité Soleil and in several regions of the country. The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation, an organization for the defense and promotion of children’s rights, hopes that measures will be taken by the health authorities to prevent the spread of the disease in the country, particularly in precarious neighborhoods.
The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation fears a disaster similar to that of 2010, when cholera appeared in Haiti by Nepalese peacekeepers, members of the United Nations mission. This epidemic killed more than ten thousand (10,000) people and affected nearly nine hundred thousand (900,000) people with diarrhea in the different geographic departments of the country, according to the MSPP. Even today, the living conditions of the population have worsened with poor hygiene and unsanitary conditions, the absence of decent housing, increased poverty and lack of access to basic social services.
Many families are crowded into slums, leaving a high risk for the rapid spread of cholera disease. There is also the fact that several families have fled their homes to escape armed gangs and are living on the streets in subhuman conditions. Furthermore, the current government does not care about the poor living conditions of the population. On the contrary, unpopular measures have been adopted to complicate the situation, such as the scarcity and high cost of petroleum products in the country.
The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation recommends that health authorities, in this moment of socio-political unrest, avoid the worst so as not to weaken the lives of children, and to preserve and commit to serving the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, until now, cholera represents a threat to the Haitian population given the state of disrepair of the health system in the country for many years and the blatant absence of a public health policy. According to the international organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), no less than 68 people have already been infected since the start of the disease last week. However, the current context largely jeopardizes the already precarious situation of children subjected to the harsh reality of armed gangs in the slums. And, government authorities are becoming increasingly careless and passive in protecting human rights in general and children in particular. The “Zanmi Timoun” Foundation wants rapid care to be provided for people who have already been affected by cholera, particularly children.

Done in Port-au-Prince, October 6, 2022

Joseph Richard FORTUNÉ
Communications and Advocacy Manager
Tel: 509 3187 73 63