Russia ready to aid Haitian cholera effort

Russia’s chief doctor, Gennady Onishchenko, has said that Russia is ready to offer a cholera vaccine to Haiti, which has already seen more than 400 cholera-related deaths.

Onishchenko warned, however, that there are no specialists in Haiti who would be able to administer the vaccine. He told Ria Novosti that while there are no Russian tourists in Haiti, the neighboring Dominican Republic is very popular with Russians. He suggested that Russian citizens avoid trips to the Caribbean, reports The Voice of Russia.

“According to the Pan American bureau of the World Health Organization, Haitian cholera has claimed 442 lives with 6,742 cholera infections registered on the island,” Onishchenko said, according to Ria Novosti, “Laboratory research shows that Vibrio cholerae was brought in from south Asia, presumably by the peacekeepers from Nepal.”

The recent hurricane that struck Haiti continued to aggravate the situation, since many drinking water supply systems were damaged or destroyed. The bacterial infection of cholera spreads through contaminated water and can cause vomiting and diarrhea that leads to dehydration and death within a few hours.

Many countries have pledged their support to Haiti during this difficult time, including Canada, which recently pledged $1 million dollars to fight the outbreak, the Toronto Star reports.