UN chief names special advisor for Haiti cholera

The UN chief on Friday named a US health expert as special advisor in fighting Haiti's cholera epidemic, which has claimed more than 7,750 lives and is widely blamed on UN peacekeepers.

Ban Ki-Moon has appointed Paul Farmer, a doctor and professor at Harvard Medical School, to "help galvanize support for the elimination of cholera in Haiti," the United Nations said in a statement.

He will also be charged with advising "on lessons learned" from the epidemic and "how those can be applied in Haiti and other settings," the statement added, without making any reference to the cause of the outbreak.

Earlier this month, the UN launched an appeal for $2.2 billion to finance a campaign to halt the epidemic, which has exceeded 620,000 cases since it began in October 2010.

Farmer, 53, heads Harvard's department of and . From 2009 to 2012, he also served as deputy to the UN special envoy for Haiti under former US president Bill Clinton.

A huge UN operation has been helping the impoverished country with its political strife and the aftermath of a giant earthquake in January 2010 that killed an estimated 250,000 people.

While a UN investigation found there was no way of knowing what caused the , a growing number of experts, including some from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have said the cholera strain in Haiti matched the prevalent strain in Nepal.

The has been traced to a camp of Nepalese peacekeepers in the town of Mirebalais.

Lawyers for some victims and families of the dead have called on the United Nations to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation and threatened a court case.

UN officials said 70 percent of the $2.2 billion needed in the next decade would be used to build water and . The UN said it would also buy quantities of a new .

Related Stories

UN launches major cholera appeal for Haiti

date Dec 12, 2012

The United Nations on Tuesday launched a $2.2 billion appeal for a campaign to halt a cholera epidemic in Haiti, widely blamed on UN peacekeepers, which has killed more than 7,750 people.

Recommended for you

Noise from fireworks threatens young ears

date 7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The Fourth of July weekend is a time for celebrations and beautiful fireworks displays. But, parents do need to take steps to protect their children's ears from loud fireworks, a hearing expert ...

Many new teen drivers 'crash' in simulated driving task

date 7 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Around four in 10 newly licensed teen drivers "crashed" in a simulated driving test, suggesting that many adolescents lack the skills they need to stay safe on the road, according to a new study.

Insurer Aetna to buy Humana in $35B deal

date 8 hours ago

Aetna will spend about $35 billion to buy rival Humana and become the latest health insurer bulking up on government business as the industry adjusts to the federal health care overhaul.

Feeling impulsive or frustrated? Take a nap

date 10 hours ago

Taking a nap may be an effective strategy to counteract impulsive behavior and to boost tolerance for frustration, according to a University of Michigan study.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.