Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Disease and frustration igniting tension for approaching holiday

With the onset of so many cases of cholera, haitians are blaming foreign volunteers for infection. This creating a tense situation outside the hospital.  More and more bodies are piling up outside the makeshift cholera treatment tent since no one wants to claim them, and the stench is overwhelming.  Even as the they attempt to move the bodies, the transport truck is stoned by angry and frustrated haitians, leaving them no choice but to dump them back on hospital grounds.

The political uproar with the upcoming elections is also intensifying the situation within the capital city and volunteer teams that were scheduled to arrive later in the week are beginning to cancel.  The team is faced with the difficult decision of canceling elective surgeries because patients will not be able to receive follow up care in the coming weeks. 

Tomorrow marks a landmark holiday in Haiti's long and difficult history of French rule.  The Battle of Vertieres Day was the last major battle of the Second War of Haitian Independence and for most Haitians this is a reminder of the ongoing occupation of UN Forces within Haiti. This could spark more unrest as not only are Haitians blaming UN forces for infecting them with cholera, but the majority of Haitians vehemently oppose their presence.

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