In 2017, the operation punch allowed a breakthrough in the fight against cholera in the West department. On Monday, August 7, the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) and the National Directorate of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DINEPA) launched the 2018 ‘’Punch Operation’’. The main partners in the fight against the disease were there, including UNICEF and the representatives of local and regional authorities in the West.
Port-au-Prince, 22 August, 2018- With the launch of the ‘’punch operation’’, the main partners want to strengthen the fight in the department of the West. There has been significant progress in the fight, as evidenced by the numbers that have never been so low.
The administrator of the Western Health Directorate (DSO), Mr. Maliou Etienne, welcomed the participants’ presence during the workshop. “I want to remind you that the fight to eliminate, to eradicate cholera is not only the business of the MSPP but also it involves the participation of all. Everyone must contribute to the fight, “he said, officially launching the workshop.
Mr. Paul Chrystian Namphy, coordinator of cholera control at DINEPA, emphasized the important elements of the strategy to eliminate cholera: medical care, community response, epidemiological surveillance, awareness, drinking water and sanitation, involvement of local elected officials.
“These elements are essential, we must provide the population with access to water and sanitation. We must support the population in a real revolution of behavior change, promotion of awareness and hygiene, “he continued.
UNICEF a key player in the fight against cholera
In the fight against cholera, UNICEF has been with the Haitian government from the first moments. The organization supports the fight against the disease at several echelons, including the aspect of support for coordination and response at national, departmental and communal levels. Thus, the organization is the leader of the WASH sector and ensures a constant presence in the health sector to reinforce the links and the cohesion between the activities Wash and health.
“The punch operation has this strength to rally all the actors concerned by this common goal of eliminating cholera. UNICEF is delighted with the involvement of everyone, especially local and regional authorities in this major operation, “said Mrs. Maria Luisa Fornara, UNICEF Representative in Haiti.
The elimination of cholera: more than ever a truth
The latest figures against the disease show that it is possible to eliminate it. At the 30th week of this year, only 31 suspected cases were recorded for the whole country. In general, 818,874 suspected cases of cholera have been reported from 2010 to 28 July 2018; in 2017, the number of suspect cases reported amounted to 13,681 for the whole country; and from January to July of the current year there are only 2,874 cases across the country.
The combined efforts of all the partners involved in this fight bring Haiti closer and closer to the goal of elimination. It is important to be extra vigilant during the rainy season.
Even if the figures are encouraging “we cannot yet claim victory, because the cholera is still there” warned Mr. Paul Christian Namphy.
This post is also available in: French