The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced, on Wednesday, that 40 percent of confirmed cholera cases are among children in Haiti.
“Cholera and malnutrition are causing an increase in the number of child deaths in Haiti,” said Manuel Fontaine, Director of the UNICEF Office of Emergency Programs, during a press statement at the end of a 4-day visit to the country.
“Two out of five cholera patients in Haiti, or 40 percent of confirmed cases, are children,” Fontaine added.
And 9 out of 10 injuries are in areas where children suffer from acute malnutrition, according to the UN agency.
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“In Haiti now, there is a triple risk threatening the lives of children, which is malnutrition, cholera and armed violence,” said the UN official.
“Within a few hours, severe watery diarrhea and vomiting lead to dehydration and weakening of children to the point that they may die before receiving the necessary treatment in time,” Fontaine continued.
Fontaine noted that “cholera and malnutrition are a deadly combination, one leading to the other.”
Since the beginning of the cholera outbreak in Haiti on October 2, the Ministry of Health has reported nearly 200 deaths and more than 10,600 suspected cases in the country of 11 million people.
The crisis and chaos in Haiti intensified in the past few weeks after the blockade by criminal gangs caused food, water and fuel shortages, at a time when the country was facing an outbreak of disease.