Cholera Epidemic Kills 250 Haitians

Italy to Cancel Debt of Quake-Destroyed Country

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, OCT. 27, 2010 ( Caritas workers are rushing to stem a cholera outbreak that has already claimed 250 Haitian lives and infected 3,000 others.

In the wake of the Jan. 12 earthquake that destroyed the capital city of Port-au-Prince, much of the water and sanitation infrastructure is still demolished.

Many Haitians are still living in cramped temporary camps, giving rise to contaminated water supplies and conditions for spreading the disease.

Caritas workers have distributed 176,000 water purification tablets, along with rehydration kits and hand sanitizer.

Joost Butenhop of Caritas Germany affirmed: «It is important to interrupt the infection chain. Cholera needs to be detected, affected people need to receive treatment and awareness has to be raised among the population.

«Clean drinking water and washing hands regularly are absolutely essential where cholera is concerned.»

Caritas is working with other aid organizations to rebuild infrastructure and give access to drinking water, as part of a long-term reconstruction plan.

On Monday, a communiqué from Italy’s foreign affairs office announced that it plans to cancel $40 million of Haiti’s external debt as part of an aid program for the impoverished country.

Italy is the second largest creditor of the Caribbean country, and the move would completely cancel all debt that Haiti owes to Italy.

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