Haiti protesters close cholera center

Oct. 27, 2010 at 7:33 PM
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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Bowing to protests by St. Marc locals, the Haitian government says it has asked aid groups to dismantle a nearly completed 400-bed cholera treatment center.

Demonstrators threw rocks, burned several tents in the treatment compound and blocked the town's road with tires expressing their anxiety the treatment center would put nearby schoolchildren at risk for infection, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Now a new site has to be chosen.

Doctors Without Borders says the treatment center would have done no such thing but would have relieved St. Nicholas Hospital of some of the treatment burden.

"The ultimate consequence is that we are now unable to respond to the cholera outbreak in the Artibonite region in the most effective manner and under the best possible conditions," Francisco Otero, head of the group's emergency response teams in St. Marc, said.

The cholera epidemic has killed at least 284 people and sickened more than 3,700 in Haiti, the Times said.

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