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Government sends more experts to Haiti

Switzerland has stepped up its anti-cholera efforts in Haiti, sending a doctor and nurse to the country, the foreign ministry said on Monday.

The move follows on from the arrival at the end of October of water experts who are working with Haiti officials to ensure supply of clean water.

The medical personnel will strengthen the team at the Albert Schweizer Hospital in the Department of Artebonite, the most severely cholera-affected region of Haiti, a statement said.

It pointed out that the two water experts had been carrying out controls on drinking water supplies in rural areas for contamination and had been taking countermeasures where necessary. Dirty water is the main cause of cholera infection, it said.

In addition, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is participating in a Caritas project with a contribution of SFr100,000 ($100,000), in which hygiene sets are distributed and an information campaign on cholera prevention carried out.

The SDC is currently examining other requests for personnel from relief organisations, the communiqué added. To improve coordination it will organise a round table discussion this week for Swiss relief organisations working in Haiti.

The death toll from cholera in Haiti has now climbed to more than 1,250.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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The citizens' meeting

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