Haitians protest UN base over cholera claim

Nov 15, 2010 By JONATHAN M. KATZ , Associated Press
A woman suffering cholera symptoms is carried to St. Catherine hospital, run by Doctors Without Borders, in the Cite Soleil slum in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Monday Nov. 15, 2010. Thousands of people have been hospitalized for cholera across Haiti with symptoms including serious diarrhea, vomiting and fever and hundreds have died. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

(AP) -- Protesters who hold Nepalese U.N. peacekeepers responsible for a deadly outbreak of cholera that has killed 1,000 in three weeks threw stones and threatened to set fire to a base in the country's second-largest city Monday, Haitian radio and eyewitnesses reported.

The protesters also blame the unit for the death of a Haitian youth at the base in September.

The demonstrations began in Cap-Haitien about 6 a.m. (6 a.m. EST; 1100 GMT) and have paralyzed much of the northern port city, national television reporter Johnny Joseph told The Associated Press by phone.

Demonstrators are also targeting other U.N. bases and Haitian national police stations in the city, he said. U.N. police spokesman Andre Leclerc said the demonstrators blocked traffic in the area.

Radio Kiskeya and Radio Caraibes reported that U.N. soldiers and Haitian police fired tear gas and projectiles to disperse at least 1,000 protesters at the Nepalese base. Joseph said at least three people were injured by Haitian .

A case of cholera had never before been documented in , and fear and confusion is following its destructive path. President Rene Preval addressed the nation on Sunday to dispel myths and educate people on good and .

is transmitted by feces and can easily be prevented if people have access to safe drinking water and can regularly wash their hands.

But those conditions don't exist in much of Haiti, and tens of thousands of people have been sickened as the disease has spread across the countryside and to nearly all the country's major population centers, including the capital, Port-au-Prince. Doctors Without Borders and other medical aid groups have expressed concern that the could eventually sicken hundreds of thousands of people.

The suspicions surround a different Nepalese base located on the Artibonite River system where the outbreak started. The soldiers arrived there in October following outbreaks in their home country and about a week before Haiti's epidemic began.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that the strain now ravaging the country matched a strain specific to South Asia, but said they had not pinpointed the origin of the outbreak.

Following an Associated Press investigation, the U.N. acknowledged that there were sanitation problems at the base, but says its soldiers were not responsible for the outbreak. No formal or independent investigation has taken place despite calls from Haitian human-rights groups and U.S. health care experts.

Presidential candidates have seized on the suspicions to denounce the 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force ahead of Nov. 28 elections.

Explore further: Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

CDC: Haiti cholera matches South Asian strain

Nov 01, 2010

(AP) -- A cholera outbreak that has killed more than 300 people in Haiti matches strains commonly found in South Asia, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

Cholera fears spark anti-clinic protest in Haiti

Oct 27, 2010

(AP) -- Protesters threw rocks at a cholera treatment center as it was preparing to open in the city of St. Marc on Tuesday, highlighting the fear surrounding a disease that was almost unknown in Haiti before it began spreading ...

Cholera confirmed for resident of Haiti's capital

Nov 09, 2010

(AP) -- The cholera epidemic has spread into Haiti's capital, imperiling nearly 3 million people living in Port-au-Prince, nearly half of them in unsanitary tent camps for the homeless from the Jan. 12 earthquake.

Govt suspects cholera has entered Haitian capital

Nov 08, 2010

(AP) -- Health officials said Monday that they are examining at least 120 suspected cases of cholera in Haiti's capital, the most significant warning sign yet that the epidemic has spread from outlying areas ...

Experts: Did UN troops infect Haiti?

Nov 03, 2010

(AP) -- Researchers should determine whether United Nations peacekeepers were the source of a deadly outbreak of cholera in Haiti, two public health experts, including a U.N. official, said Wednesday.

In Haiti, cholera could heighten earthquake misery

Oct 25, 2010

(AP) -- A cholera outbreak that already has left 250 people dead and more than 3,000 sickened is at the doorstep of an enormous potential breeding ground: the squalid camps in Port-au-Prince where 1.3 million ...

Recommended for you

Ebola reveals shortcomings of African solidarity

19 hours ago

As Africa's leaders meet in Ethiopia to discuss the Ebola crisis, expectations of firm action will be tempered by criticism over the continent's poor record in the early stages of the epidemic.

Second bird flu case confirmed in Canada

Jan 30, 2015

The husband of a Canadian who was diagnosed earlier this week with bird flu after returning from a trip to China has also tested positive for the virus, health officials said Friday.

What exactly is coronavirus?

Jan 30, 2015

The conflicts in Syria and Iraq are straining public health systems and public health efforts meant to prevent and detect the spread of infectious diseases. This is generating a "perfect storm" of conditions for outbreaks. Among the infections raising concern is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, caused by a type of coronavirus, which emerged in 2012. ...

Scientists find Ebola virus is mutating

Jan 30, 2015

(Medical Xpress)—Researchers working at Institut Pasteur in France have found that the Ebola virus is mutating "a lot" causing concern in the African countries where the virus has killed over eight thous ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.