Haiti cholera toll tops 900 with six provinces affected
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - The death toll from Haiti's cholera epidemic has reached more than 900 and the disease is present in six of the 10 provinces of the earthquake-battered Caribbean country, the Health Ministry said on Sunday.
An update on the ministry website (www.mspp.gouv.ht) said as of November 12, there had been 917 deaths and more than 14,600 hospitalized cases since the outbreak began more than three weeks ago in the Western Hemisphere's poorest state.
The central rural province of Artibonite, the epicenter of the epidemic, remained the worst affected, accounting for nearly 600 of the total deaths. Other provinces affected were Center, Nord, Nord Ouest, Sud, and Ouest, where the capital Port-au-Prince is located.
The capital, which bore the brunt of destruction from the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, has recorded 27 deaths up to November 12. The government and its aid partners are fighting to prevent the disease spreading in crowded city slums and tent camps housing over 1.3 million homeless earthquake survivors.
The United Nations forecasts up to 200,000 Haitians could contract cholera as the outbreak extends across the country of nearly 10 million, and says $163.9 million in aid is needed over the next year to combat the epidemic.
Despite the cholera outbreak, which has stretched relief agencies and complicated the faltering U.N.-led recovery following the earthquake, presidential and legislative elections are scheduled to go ahead as planned on November 28.