Cuba Takes Lead Role in Haiti’s Cholera Fight


Randal C. Archibold
New York Times

November 8, 2011

MIREBALAIS, Haiti — The family from a nearby village arrived at the small hospital here vomiting and with uncontrollable diarrhea, at first glance maybe a typical case of consuming bad food or water.

But the fluid loss was tremendous and unstoppable; two of the three brothers were already near death, and within hours the entire family would be dead. Meanwhile, a nightmarish stream of patients filled the small reception room, as doctors and nurses scrambled to rehydrate them.

It was the evening of Oct. 15, 2010. Cholera, the doctors with the Cuban medical mission that treat most of the patients here would soon confirm, had arrived in Haiti.

“We went back to our books to see if this really could be cholera and then reported it right away,” said Dr. Jorge Luis Quiñones, a member of the Cuban medical mission here at the center of the outbreak.

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