Saturday, November 20, 2010

Haiti Cholera Outbreak

Cholera was absent from Hispaniola for over one hundred years.

Then an outbreak happened... in a rather remote area, far from points of entry.

A remote area that just happened to have a MINUSTAH (U.N. Peacekeeping, Haiti) base upriver.

A base that has been documented to have serious and persistent sanitation problems unfitting any proper military encampment.

Oh by the way, the Cholera is documented as one of the South Asian strains and the Peacekeepers are a formation from Nepal ...which has significant and persistent Cholera.

This is looking more and more like a "you break it; you own it" situation.

This is going to take a lot of work to make right. A response that *should* have started already, but...
Imogen Wall, spokeswoman for the U.N. humanitarian agency OCHA, said the cholera response operation so far had received only a small fraction -- $5 million -- of the $164 million the United Nations had appealed for a week ago to fight the epidemic.
Wrong answer.

Then again, this is the U.N. we are talking about, so no surprise.

What is in order is a redirection of as much of the general relief funding as possible. To do that means pushing, yes literally pushing, aside the in-place U.N. administration and what little government Haiti still has. Doing that requires Security Council action and a competent lead-nation placed in stewardship.

Not seeing any volunteers happening for that, though.

It will be discussed. It will be re-managed. It will be considered.

It won't happen... and once again Haiti suffers.

If that doesn't matter, if you aren't in Haiti or the Dominican Republic, maybe I should make it more personal. How about this?

Remember this when more cases show up in Florida. Or in New York City. It took six years to clean up after the 1991 Peruvian outbreak.

No comments: