The New York Times acknowledges Cuba’s key role in Haiti cholera fight
Havana, April 2nd, (RHC), -- A report on Haiti´s healthcare situation by the New York Times has acknowledge Cuba´s key role in detecting and implementing effective treatment following the cholera epidemic that erupted after the devastating earthquake of 2010.
The journal asserts that at first, Doctors Without Borders and the Cuban medical brigades, both self-financed, handled the overwhelming majority of cases. “We felt quite lonely at the beginning,” said Yann Libessart, spokesman for Doctors Without Borders. “It made no sense. Everybody was in Haiti. It was the biggest density of humanitarian actors in the world, and we two organizations were dealing with 80 percent of the cholera.”
The Cubans sounded an important early alarm about the outbreak, helping to mobilize health officials and lessen the death toll, said UN deputy special envoy to Haiti, Paul Farmer in an earlier NY Times article.
“Half of the NGOs are already gone, and the Cubans are still there,” he said, according to the renowned publication.
“As the epidemic continues, the Cuban medical mission that played an important role in detecting it presses on in Haiti, winning accolades from donors and diplomats for staying on the front lines and undertaking a broader effort to remake this country’s shattered health care system,” highlighted the newspaper.
The northern daily also says the Cuban doctors dispensed antibiotics to all cholera patients and preventively to their relatives, in contraposition to world health authorities, who concerned with the costs and drug resistance, said antibiotics should be reserved for severe cases.
The presence for 13 years of Cuban medical cooperation in Haiti has been deliberatively obscured by world mainstream media, which – with few exceptions – has ignored for decades the solidarity efforts of the Caribbean island.
Cholera has killed more than 7,050 Haitians and sickened more than 531,000, or 5 percent of the population. Despite a huge international mobilization it has turned into the world’s largest cholera epidemic.