|Congress calls for UN’s accountability in Haiti’s cholera outbreak|
|Thursday, 26 July 2012 12:19|
Cries for increased accountability from the UN in Haiti's cholera outbreak have spread to U.S. Congress. About 103 members have signed a letter to Ambassador to the United Nations Susan E. Rice calling for UN officials to take responsibility and immediate action against the lethal cholera outbreak which first emerged in Haiti in 2010.
"As cholera was brought to Haiti due to the actions of the U.N., we believe that it is imperative for the U.N. to now act decisively to control the cholera epidemic," said U.S. Congressman from Michigan, John Conyers Jr., in the letter. The letter also stated that more financial resources from the UN should be used for water and sanitation systems to control the epidemic.
About 50,000 more have been infected with cholera since April of this year, bringing the number of infected to over half a million people since the disease appeared in October 2010. To date, more than 7,400 have died from the disease.
Recently there has been some ambiguity about the UN's responsible for the outbreak. The outbreak was blamed on improper disposal of wastes by UN peacekeepers from Nepal. One report in June this year however suggested that the outbreak may have been prompted by a unique strain distinct from the strain found in the infected UN peacekeepers, which was found only in the very first cholera patients in 2010. The researchers however concluded that the discovery was "circumstantial" at best.
Meanwhile a recent documentary exploring the effects on the cholera outbreak, Baseball in the Time of Cholera (which won the Tribeca Film Festival award in April this year), has been released to the public for free through video web-sharing site Vimeo, to promote the cause.