Post-Hurricane Matthew, Haiti faces epidemic threat

Haiti, Oct 9 (IANS) Child rights group Plan International warned on Saturday that thousands of children and their families are at the risk of cholera here in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

“There are already reports of a worsening epidemic, as it is becoming increasingly difficult for people to access clean, safe drinking water,” the rights group said in a statement issued here on Saturday.

Caribbean Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on October 4 with destructive winds, torrential rain and surging seas that caused widespread flooding.

“In the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, the most pressing needs of people in Haiti are food and water,” said Marie Therese Frederique Jean Pierre, Country Director of Plan International in Haiti.

“Access to clean water is extremely scarce, and families in remote areas are particularly badly affected, because they rely on hand pumps or wells to get safe drinking water, which were badly damaged by the hurricane,” Marie added.

“Risk of diarrhoea and cholera is extremely high. Children are especially vulnerable to these types of diseases,” she said.

Plan International, the group that has been working for 75 years, said that it would continue to monitor the situation on the ground and “expand our humanitarian assistance in further areas, if there are found to be large unmet needs”.

–IANS

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