Health Ministry to send cholera specialists to assist in Haiti outbreak

Peru’s health ministry will send a team of medical officials to Haiti to help mitigate the spread of a cholera outbreak that has claimed hundreds of lives in the impoverished Caribbean nation, state news agency Andina reported.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) requested the support of Peruvian specialists who have experience treating cholera, Health Minister Oscar Ugarte said.

Peru is sending three epidemiologists, three environmental health specialists and three specialists in the treatment of cholera.

“Peru has a lot of experience because the same epidemic occurred in the country in 1991 and 1992,” Ugarte said. “Now they have called on use to provide support and be able to contain the cholera epidemic.”

Ugarte said it is unlikely the outbreak will spread to other countries due to Haiti’s relatively low amounts of international commercial and tourism to the country. However there is concern that it may spread the Dominican Republic, which shares a Caribbean island with Haiti.

“They are hoping to avoid the spread of the epidemic to the Dominican Republic, because that country does have contact with countries not only in the Americas, but also Europe and Asia,” Ugarte added.

According to the latest data from the PAHO, there have been 4,764 cases and 337 deaths from cholera in Haiti as of October 30.

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