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About 40 percent of the cholera cases confirmed in Haiti in the recent outbreak of the disease are among children, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said.
The agency warned that nine out of ten had have been reported in the areas most affected by the food crisis, noting the increased risk of dying from the disease in children under five years old suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
Malnutrition, cholera and armed violence threaten Haitian children, said the director of UNICEF's Office of Emergency Programs, Manuel Fontaine, who made a four-day visit to the country.
According to Fontaine, "the watery diarrhea and vomiting dehydrate could weaken them so much that they can die if not properly treated in time."
Cholera combined with malnutrition is "lethal," the Director said. "Simple, affordable and effective treatment can save the lives of Haitian children, provided we reach the most vulnerable families before it is too late."
Haiti has been facing an outbreak of the disease for about two months, after three years with no reported cases. This came amid widespread armed violence and insecurity in much of the capital, Port-au-Prince.
The Haitian Ministry of Health puts the death toll from the disease at 188, with 924 confirmed cases and more than 10 600 suspected cases. UNICEF is requesting 27.5 million dollars to provide humanitarian assistance to 1.4 million people.