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Available Expert - Queen’s expert calls on UN to help Haitians affected by cholera

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Queen’s global health researcher Susan Bartels (Medicine) is available to speak about her new co-authored article in The Lancet Regional Health - Americas, that raises awareness of the cholera epidemic in Haiti caused by United Nations (UN) peacekeepers.

In 2016, after the UN acknowledged their part in spreading cholera in Haiti in 2010, they promised financial assistance for improved water and sanitation infrastructure and assistance for families affected by cholera. These promises, especially the assistance for families, have largely gone unfulfilled.

The UN will be able to declare Haiti cholera-free if there are no new cases of cholera transmission in three years—and the three-year period was reached at end of January 2022. However, doubts have been raised about the accuracy of these numbers due to a lack of cholera testing as a result of the health care system’s primary focus on COVID-19 these past two years.

Dr. Bartels says the pressing concern is that the UN might disengage even further once the country is declared ‘cholera-free’ and that the support and assistance owed to affected community members will not be provided.

“It is important for the UN to provide the remedies promised in 2016. It is equally important, however, to ensure that all Haitian community members have access to clean water and appropriate sanitation,” said Dr. Bartels.

To arrange an interview, please contact media relations officer Victoria Klassen (343-363-1794 or victoria.klassen@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada. 

Follow Queen’s News and Media Services on Twitter: http://twitter.com/QueensuMedia.

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