Though cholera vaccines are now mandatory for all UN troops and peacekeepers, a unit deployed to Haiti from India, where cholera is endemic, was not vaccinated. This is alarming because cholera was first brought to Haiti by UN peacekeepers in 2010 and has since sickened at least 800,000 and killed at least 9,500. Though a UN spokesperson said that responsibility for peacekeeper vaccinations is placed on member states, it should be up to the UN to enforce the rule and make sure that it doesn’t cause another cholera epidemic elsewhere.
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UN Police Unit Deploys to Haiti Without Cholera Vaccinations
Associated Press, VOA News
January 10, 2016
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI — The U.N. stabilization mission in Haiti is administering cholera vaccines to a police unit from India months after it arrived in the impoverished Caribbean nation without the required protection, officials said Tuesday.
The failure to ensure that U.N. police personnel from a cholera-endemic country were vaccinated comes after the waterborne disease was introduced to Haiti’s largest river in October 2010 by sewage from a base of U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal, one of the units that have rotated in and out of a multinational force here since 2004.
Over six years later, Haiti continues to wrestle with the globe’s worst outbreak of the preventable disease in recent history. Cholera has sickened roughly 800,000 Haitians and killed at least 9,500.
Vaccination for cholera is now mandatory for all U.N. troops and police deploying to peacekeeping operations. The U.N. puts responsibility for peacekeeper vaccinations on member states, according to Ariane Quentier, spokeswoman for the U.N. mission in Haiti.
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