Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

David and Goliath: An Epidemiological Perspective on Cholera, Haiti, and the UN

Jason Silverstein reviews the case of cholera in Haiti through an epidemiological perspective, covering the alleged cause of the epidemic as well as the reactions of the international community both within and outside the United Nations. Silverstein advocates for the establishment of an official forum that would examine why the epidemic happened and who is responsible. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article. ….. Why the Haitian Cholera Victims Deserve Their Day in Court Jason Silverstein, PLoS June 27, 2016 The battle between victims of the cholera epidemic in Haiti and the United Nations may resemble a classic David and Goliath story except in this case Goliath hasn’t even shown up to fight. The reason is that the United Nations is granted “immunity from every form of legal process”—even though public health experts believe UN peacekeeping […]

How UN Immunity Can Endanger Global Health

When unusual diseases like Ebola or cholera emerge, vaccines can be crucial but companies often worry about the risk of liability for adverse side effects. Organizations like the WHO and UN are protected against such liability but when they fail to live up to the obligations tied with their immunity, like the UN has done in the Haiti cholera case, that rightly increases people’s concerns and hesitation. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. The Ebola Vaccine, Iatrogenic Injuries, and Legal Liability Amir Attaran and Kumanan Wilson, PLoS Medicine December 1, 2015 Summary Points The development and eventual deployment of an Ebola vaccine was delayed for various technical and financial reasons, but with the apparent success of a vaccine candidate in a recently reported clinical trial, an urgent problem is the lack of any system to […]

Peacekeepers Should Learn from Cholera to Prevent Malaria

When United Nations peacekeepers brought cholera to Haiti in 2010, many were shocked that the UN didn’t screen the troops before they were deployed, particularly when Nepal is known to have endemic cholera and Haiti is known to have poor infrastructure. Now, many of those same people are hoping that the UN will use Haiti as a lesson for peacekeeping in sub-Saharan Africa: As Southeast Asia has a particularly challenging type of malaria, troops sent from there to sub-Saharan Africa should be screened and treated before being deployed. Part of the paper is below. Click HERE for the full text and summary points. Screening and Treating UN Peacekeepers to Prevent the Introduction of Artemisinin-Resistant Malaria into Africa Stan Houston & Adam Houston, PLOS Medicine May 5, 2015 Introduction: The Precedent of Cholera in Haiti In the aftermath of the massive […]

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