PAHO/WHO devote funds to prevent cholera in Haiti

The Pan American Health Organization and the World Health Organization recently announced they will fund the installation of water and sanitation connections in primary health centers in Haiti.

The $500,000 funding is to be provided by the PAHO/WHO technical cooperation resources and will be part of Haiti's new National Plan for the Elimination of Cholera 2013-2022.

PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne announced the grant while attending the plan's official launch. The plan provides a framework for the allocation of $2.2 billion in investments in water and sanitation infrastructure, healthcare management and infrastructure, and epidemiological and microbiological surveillance. The next two years have a combined budget of $485.9 billion.

"This plan, when implemented, can and will finally halt cholera transmission in Haiti and ensure that any future introduction of the disease can be quickly controlled," Etienne said. "But for the plan to be implemented, Haiti's friends in the international community must align their efforts and harmonize around this plan and provide the necessary financial resources."

The PAHO/WHO funding has come at a critical time. Several nongovernmental organizations have departed Haiti and there has been an increase in the number of cases confirmed since 2013 due to heavy rains brought by hurricane Sandy.