GENEVA, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday appalled for 9 million U.S. dollars to carry out response operations in Haiti after Hurricane Matthew devastated the southwestern part of the country.
Of the more than 2.1 million Haitians who have been affected by Hurricane Matthew, there are an estimated 750,000 persons in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 175,500 who are living in 224 temporary shelters, according to official reports from the Ministry of Interior of Haiti.
"WHO expects an important upsurge in cholera cases after Hurricane Matthew, given the context of flooding and the storm's impact on water and sanitation infrastructure. So far, 75 percent of the cholera treatment facilities that have been assessed were destroyed or damaged in the two most affected departments. In Grand Anse province for instance, 50 percent of the health facilities suffered damages," Fadela Chaib, WHO spokeswomen told press Friday.
She highlighted that the impact of the hurricane has increased the already high risk of waterborne diseases, particularly cholera, which was already present in several of the most affected areas before Hurricane Matthew hit them. Natural water sources in the southern departments have been contaminated by storm water and sewage overflow.
Haiti already had serious problems of access to health care, water and sanitation before the hurricane, and cases of cholera were already on the rise.
Water supply interruptions will increase diarrheal disease including cholera, and unofficial field sources indicated that some 477 suspected cholera cases were reported in the southern peninsula in the last four days.
WHO teams performed field assessments of the health situation in Haiti, estimating that 9 million U.S. dollars in funding would be needed to carry out essential activities in the first three months.