Published On: Wed, Dec 18th, 2013

Nepal government rejects blame for Haiti cholera epidemic

Cholera was not seen on the Caribbean island of Haiti for a century, and then the massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the country in Jan. 2010.

Vibrio cholerae Image/CDC/ Janice Carr

Vibrio cholerae
Image/CDC/ Janice Carr

Months later arrived UN peacekeepers from Nepal arrived, and according to various studies, including  The Global Health Justice Partnership of Yale law school report, “Peacekeeping Without Accountability”, which says the cholera was brought to the country by the Nepalese peacekeepers.

However, the Nepalese government is denying any blame for the cholera outbreak that as of Oct. 17, 2013, 684,085 cases and 8,361 deaths have been reported.

A UN IRIN report quotes today, “It is easy to blame the Nepali soldiers as they contribute a lot to UN peacekeeping missions, and they happened to be in Haiti at the right time when the epidemic occurred, but it is dangerous to pinpoint a group of nationals,” said Dr Babu Ram Marasini, Director of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division of Nepal’s Department of Health Services (DOHS).

In August, I interviewed one of the authors of the Yale report, Dr. Rosalyn Chan M.D. on Dispatch Radio (Listen to the audio at the link) where Dr. Chan explained the evidence and the link between the UN peacekeepers from Nepal and the cholera outbreak.

The UN also refuses to acknowledge blame for the outbreak, which has led to lawsuits from Haitian families in recent months.

“This kind of blame game is dangerous because now again the Nepali connection in Haiti’s epidemic is [being] published in media stories across the world,” public health expert Resam Lamichanne from the DOHS said, pointing out that cholera has been successfully controlled in Nepal and there were zero cases in 2013.

According to Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the country is the seventh largest provider of peacekeeping troops in the world, with more than 4,000 troops active in 2012.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Haiti still recorded over 1,100 cholera cases a week in 2013 - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Related story: Nepal government rejects blame for Haiti cholera epidemic […]

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