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Call to Action for Accelerating the Elimination of Cholera in Haiti and the Dominican Republic (Island of Hispaniola)

WHAT: Call to Action for Accelerating the Elimination of Cholera in Haiti and the Dominican Republic (Island of Hispaniola)

WHEN: Wednesday, January 11, 2012, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am (EST)

WHERE: The National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, DC – Locations in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

PURPOSE:  Greater awareness and international community investment to move from cholera control to cholera elimination through essential investments in water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure on the Island of Hispaniola.  

On Wednesday, January 11, 2012, from 9:00 am to 11:00 am, the governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Office, and other key partners will launch a Call to Action for Accelerating the Elimination of Cholera in Haiti and the Dominican Republic (Island of Hispaniola). The launch will take place simultaneously from three different sites: Washington, D.C., Haiti, and the Dominican Republic.

One of the largest cholera epidemics in modern history began in the Artibonite Department of Haiti in October 2010, just 10 months after the devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010.  Within one month, cholera had spread throughout Haiti and cases were reported by its neighbor, the Dominican Republic. As of November 24, 2011, Haiti had reported 513,997 cases, 277,451 hospitalizations, and 6,908 deaths, making this the world’s largest cholera epidemic in a single country in decades. In addition, as of November 17, 2011, the Dominican Republic had reported 20,496 cases, 16,097 hospitalizations, and 359 deaths. The island of Hispaniola is at risk of becoming cholera endemic.

Over the past year, the international community has supported the governments of Haiti and the Dominican Republic in implementing cholera prevention and control strategies including improving access to safe water and sanitation, promoting hygiene practices and food safety, and providing quality clinical care and treatment. These life-saving interventions must be sustained and strengthened for many years to come. However, to eliminate cholera from the Island of Hispaniola, access to improved drinking water and sanitation facilities in Haiti will need to reach regional standards in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).  As of 2008, access to improved water and sanitation in Haiti was 63% and 17% compared with the Dominican Republic of 86% and 83%, and 93% and 80%, respectively, in LAC.

Please join top-level, senior representatives from these organizations and other distinguished guests and partners on January 11th for this important discussion to strengthen investment in cholera prevention and infrastructure.

 

 
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