December 10th, 2010
02:15 PM ET

J/P Haitian Relief Organization: Combating Cholera in Haiti

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Program Note: Tonight on AC360° Sean Penn, founder of J/P HRO, will discuss the turmoil in Haiti nearly a year after the devastating earthquake at 10pm ET.


J/P HRO is taking very aggressive action in fighting Haiti’s cholera epidemic. Since the initial outbreak almost 2 months ago, we've been deploying a constant supply of medics and resources to some of the hardest-hit areas in the country. We've also been proactive and very effective thus far in stemming the spread of the disease within our own camp.

J/P HRO’s response to the outbreak is recognized by Haiti’s Ministry of Health and the Red Cross as one of the most successful of any organization in the country. This recognition has enabled us to continue to devote resources and personnel well beyond our camp. Our teams of medical staff & volunteers have treated thousands of patients, and supplies from our donors continue to save lives on a daily basis.

At Petionville Camp, our ability to keep the cases in our Cholera Treatment Unit to a minimum can be directly attributed to unremitting health education campaigns & strong partnerships with NGO’s who provide key services like water and sanitation.

Unfortunately, we haven't even begun to see the worst of this epidemic. The escalating infection and mortality rate demonstrate that without immediate response and adequate resources, this epidemic will devastate Haiti. Cholera as a disease is simple to treat, but it requires a consistent supply of very specific supplies and very dedicated medical personnel.


· Ringer’s Lactate 1000cc IV bags
· IV fluids
· Oral Rehydration Salts
· 24g needle IV giving sets
· Chux or absorbent bed pads
· Pedialyte
· Personal Protective Gear: Gowns, Glove
· Stool sample containers.
· Doxcycline 300mg tabs


As long as cholera is in Haiti, medical professionals will be needed to fight the disease. We are accepting applications for MD's, NPs, PAs, RNs, Paramedics and EMT's to assist with Cholera relief efforts.

Find out more on J/P HRO here.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Haiti • Sean Penn
December 10th, 2010
02:00 PM ET

Study: Origin of cholera epidemic in Haiti is in humans, not nature

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Miriam Falco
CNN Medical Managing Editor

After studying the DNA of the strain of cholera responsible for the outbreak in Haiti, researchers believe this disease was brought to the Caribbean nation by humans.

Researchers used cutting-edge DNA testing to identify the origins of the bacteria responsible for the large cholera outbreak. By sequencing the genome of this strain and analyzing the DNA from strains found in Latin America and South Asia, researchers found this Haitian strain of cholera is nearly identical to strains circulating in South Asia, according to a study published online in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday. However, it was distinct from the strain in Latin America, says lead author Dr. Matthew Waldor, a physician and researcher at the Harvard School of Medicine.

Since the strain from this large outbreak matches the strains from South Asia, which is so far from Haiti, Waldor and his co-authors conclude the disease came into the country through human activity, rather than coming from environmental means such as ocean currents, which was another hypothesis because cholera can be found in brackish bodies of water.

Health officials on the ground trying to contain this rapidly spreading infection that in the most serious cases can kill within hours if left untreated, tell CNN that the origin of this epidemic is less important than treating those already sickened and preventing further spread.

However Waldor says by analyzing the genetics of this strain in Haiti, he and his co-authors were able to learn that this bacterium has a form of cholera toxin that is probably more virulent and therefore makes the disease more harmful and spreads more rapidly.

Waldor says figuring out how cholera got to Haiti is important, so this type of outbreak can be prevented in the future. It's not about blaming any particular group, he says, but knowledge is power and lessons can be learned. He suggests before people leave an area where cholera is prevalent to go help those in an area where this disease has been absent, they should be screened and either given an antibiotic or a vaccine to prevent the possible spread of this disease.

Full Story

Filed under: 360° Radar • Haiti
December 9th, 2010
06:14 PM ET

In Haiti, people take to the streets

Editor's Note: Since Haiti’s presidential election results were announced Tuesday, thousands of protesters have taken to the streets. No candidate won a majority, forcing a runoff set for January 16th. The election council announced the two candidates who are in the runoff and supporters of the candidate left out have hit the streets in anger. CNN’s Jim Spellman is in Port-au-Prince. Read his first-hand account and scroll through the gallery of photos to find out what's really going on in Haiti right now.

Jim Spellman
CNN All Platform Journalist

The first thing I noticed in the morning was the thick black smoke hanging in the humid tropical air. We soon found the source: dozens, maybe hundreds, of fires set throughout the streets of Port-au-Prince.

The fires set the stage, then came the protesters by the thousands. Most are supporters of Michel Martelly, a popular entertainer turned politician. His supporters lovingly call him Sweet Mickey, his old stage name. The crowds chant "Tet Kale!", Creole for bald-head...a reference to Martelly shaved head.

They march through the streets with no particular place to go. On Wednesday a group burned down the headquarters of the Inite party. Inite is the party of unpopular president Rene Preval whose protégé Jude Celestin beat out Martelly for a spot in a January election.

On the street it goes way beyond simple politics. It is a year’s worth of anger and frustration pouring out. First the earthquake, whose impact is still evident everywhere in Port-au-Prince. Next came Hurricane Tomas, then the cholera outbreak.

Now the people on the street feel they have been cheated out of an election. Their shot at a chance to feel a little hope seems to be gone. For the people in the street of Port-au-Prince it's the one thing they can't afford to lose.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Global 360° • Haiti • Jim Spellman
December 9th, 2010
12:41 PM ET

After quake and cholera, politics brings new turmoil in Haiti

Jessica Desvarieux

The longstanding credibility issues of Haiti's Provisional Electoral Council (CEP) continued on Tuesday, when it announced preliminary election results that gave second place — and a place on a runoff ballot on January 16 — to President Rene Preval's hand-picked candidate, Jude Celestin. International observer groups maintain that Celestin had, in fact, finished third behind opposition candidate Michel "Sweet Micky" Martelly. After an election marred by widespread reports of fraud, many Haitians took to the streets to make it clear whom they were believing, and it wasn't the CEP.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/12/09/art.afpgetty_haitielex.jpg caption="Protesters have taken to the streets of Haiti by the thousands, angry with Tuesday's election results."]

The resulting wrath, especially among Martelly supporters, led to gunfire and left the streets of Port-au-Prince choked by' roadblocks and burning tires on Wednesday, while the headquarters of the ruling INITE (Unity) Party was set on fire. Preval, widely criticized for his aloof response to January's massive earthquake that killed 230,000 people, called for calm; but the unrest shut down the capital's airport. With more than a million Haitians still homeless after the quake, and with a cholera epidemic so far claiming 2,100 more lives, the nation is in no mood to tolerate what many suspect is government-engineered fraud. "All the money Celestin spent on his campaign, he could have [bought us new homes]," says protester Dadil Jean-Pierre, 21. "INITE has been in power for too long, and they haven't done anything for us with their power."

According to the CEP, opposition candidate Mirlande Manigat, a 70-year-old constitutional law professor and former First Lady, finished first with 31% of the vote, followed by engineer Celestin, 48, with 22.5% and Martelly, 49, with 21.8%. That razor-thin margin, representing fewer than 7,000 votes, has provoked widespread skepticism, since independent organizations such as the European Union-financed National Election Observation Council (CNO), which placed more than 5,500 monitors at 15% of Haiti's polling stations, estimated that Martelly won closer to 25% and Celestin about 20%.

Even the U.S., which contributed $14 million to the election effort, says it's worried that the CEP's results are "inconsistent" with those of credible international watchdogs, and urged that the results reflect "the will of the people". And while the Organization of American States (OAS) and the Caribbean Community (Caricom), which jointly monitored the election, said they considered the vote valid, they warned that the CEP results "are preliminary and therefore not the final word on the outcome of the first round," which are scheduled to be released on Dec. 20.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Haiti
December 8th, 2010
12:32 PM ET

Protest fires erupt in Haiti

Moni Basu

Fires burned in several spots in Haiti's capital Wednesday morning, where angry demonstrators were voicing their dismay at the announcement the night before that Jude Celestin, a protégé of current President Rene Preval, had won enough votes to enter a runoff in January.

"Preval is a thief. We don't need Jude Celestin. We need Michel Martelly," people chanted, expressing support for the candidate who came in third and was left out of the runoff.

Many streets in Port-Au-Prince were strewn with rocks thrown by protesters, who hurled them with a purpose: to disrupt the capital.

Journalist Ernest Moloskot predicted that more violence awaited Haiti in the days ahead.

"It will get worse because of the anger of the people," he said.

American Airlines canceled all flights to and from Haiti on Wednesday amid the unrest there, a spokeswoman said.

Many people kept to their homes Wednesday, fearful of the brewing tension outside and fearful of what the future may bring in their already troubled homeland.

Most vocal on the volatile streets were the supporters of Martelly, a flamboyant Haitian entertainer otherwise known as Sweet Mickey.

It had been widely expected that the unlikely candidate would face former first lady and parliamentarian Mirlande Manigat in a runoff.

Martelly had expressed confidence that his status as a political novice would be his very strength and that he would emerge victorious onto Haiti's political stage.


Filed under: 360° Radar • Haiti
November 22nd, 2010
11:30 AM ET

Haiti cholera death toll rises to 1,344

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Ivan Watson

The death toll has risen to at least 1,344 in the cholera outbreak in Haiti that has sickened nearly 57,000 people, the Haitian government said Monday.

The announcement came as international health officials predicted that the scale of Haiti's cholera epidemic will exceed initial estimates of 200,000 over coming months.

"Having seen how the bacteria is behaving in this environment with these people, having seen just how poor and how hungry the people are, we know we have to revise our numbers up," said Nyka Alexander, a spokeswoman for the World Health Organization, in a phone call with CNN.

Filed under: Haiti • Ivan Watson
November 20th, 2010
11:30 AM ET
November 20th, 2010
11:15 AM ET
November 19th, 2010
10:57 AM ET
November 6th, 2010
10:00 AM ET
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