"We are not only seeing more outbreaks but more deadly outbreaks," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
At a press conference in Geneva, Dr. Tedros pointed to poverty, conflict, and climate change as the factors fueling the current cholera outbreak in the world.
According to the Director General, "the average number of fatalities so far this year is almost three times that of the last five years."
In this regard, Tedros brought up the alarming situation in Syria and Haiti. Syria has reported more than 10 000 suspected cases of cholera in the last six weeks.
Haiti, which eradicated the disease three years ago, has recorded 11 confirmed cases this week alone, 7 deaths and 111 suspected cases, according to the latest update (Oct. 5) from the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP).
PAHO is working closely with the public health authorities of Haiti and international partners to support the country's response to the recent outbreak of cholera.
"Cholera thrives on poverty and conflict, but is now enhanced by climate change (...) Extreme weather events, such as floods, cyclones and droughts, further reduce access to clean water and create the ideal environment for the spread of cholera," Tedros said.
Cholera can be prevented with vaccines and access to clean water and sanitation, Dr. Tedros said, urging the world's leading vaccine manufacturers to increase production given the growing number of outbreaks.
The UN Deputy Special Representative in Haiti, Ulrika Richardson, has denounced the fuel situation in the country, as the main Haitian port, Varreux, remains under the control of armed gangs in Port-au-Prince (capital), since mid-September.
After years of declining cholera cases, “a worrying upsurge ��” of deadly outbreaks across the world has emerged over the past year.— UN Geneva (@UNGeneva) October 7, 2022
Though lethal, the disease is preventable and treatable with the right planning and action, said @drtedros.
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"We have asked for a humanitarian corridor to be established to get fuel to the city and the rest of the country, so we can guarantee our response," Richardson said.
The UN representative added, "Without fuel, there is no clean water. Without clean water, there will be more cases (of cholera) and it will be very difficult to contain this outbreak."
Between 2010 and 2019, Haiti suffered a cholera epidemic that left 10 000 dead.