Cholera claims 140 lives in southwest Haiti

December 6, 2010 12:00 am

, PORT-AU-PRINCE, Dec 6 – Fully 140 people have died of cholera in recent days in southwestern Haiti, a region that had been largely spared the epidemic that has killed more than 1,880 people since mid-October, medical sources have said.

"We have had a high number of deaths in communities where people are linking the illness with witchcraft," doctor Duvelson Angello, with health management in Grand Anse, told AFP.

In the southwestern department of Grand Anse, there were 57 cholera deaths in medical establishments and another 83 in towns, department data showed.

"There should be more but we have not been able to reach all the areas yet to verify the data we are getting," the doctor added.

Meanwhile, at least 14 people believed to be sorcerers have been lynched in the same region in recent days as local people feared they were spreading cholera with a magical substance.

In Grand Anse "we are facing a cultural problem. People think that the illness is supernatural in nature, they do not follow (health) recommendations," Angellio added.

Cholera is a diarrheal disease that has spread rapidly in the weeks since it broke out in northern Haiti.


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