Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Official Cholera Statistics in Cuba: It just doesn't pass the smell test.

Does anyone believe the statistics provided by the Cuban government on the cholera outbreak?

Cholera and totalitarianism: A dangerous combination
The Pan American Health Organization has generated a report using official data provided to it that does not make sense. Cholera is making a big impact in Haiti with 669,645 cases and 8,224 fatalities and neighboring Dominican Republic reports 30,671 cases 454 fatalities. Meanwhile, even though reports indicate that cholera has spread across Cuba from the east to Havana in the worse outbreak since the 19th century the official number of cases is 98 cases and apparently no fatalities according to this report.

Meanwhile PAHO's only mention of tourists contracting cholera are 5 cases from Cuba.

Between late July and early August 2013, five cases of cholera associated with a history of
travel to Cuba were confirmed, as follow:

On 24 July 2013, the National IHR Focal Point for Italy reported to WHO a confirmed case of cholera (V.cholerae serogroup O1 Ogawa) in a 47 year old male patient, with travel history to Havana from 23 June to 13 July of 2013. Relevant details of the case, including detailed travel history while in Cuba and further laboratory investigations were shared with competent local authorities in Cuba and WHO.
On 9 August 2013, the National IHR Focal Point for Venezuela confirmed two cases of cholera (V. cholerae serogroup O1 Ogawa) in persons, a 51 year old male and 55 year old female, with history of travel to Havana, Cuba.
On the same date, 9 August 2013, the National IHR Focal Point for Chile reported two cases of cholera, one laboratory confirmed (V. cholerae serogroup O1 Ogawa) and the other by epidemiological link, in persons returning from travel to Cuba.
The record in Cuba is clear. Cuba remains a totalitarian dictatorship without a free press and even international and accredited press bureaus are cowed into silence out of the justified fear that they would be ejected from the country for reporting negative news. The Cuban government is engaged in a practice of deceit that endangers lives.

The government of Cuba initially covered up the cholera outbreak. The story was broken by dissident journalists. Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, the journalist who broke the story on the cholera outbreak,  was arrested in September 2012 for disrespecting the dictatorship, and recognized by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience in January of 2013. He was finally released after spending nearly 7 months in prison in April of 2013. Unlike Michael Moore who continues to repeat Cuban government propaganda on the wonders of Cuban healthcare, Calixto reported on the actual situation on the ground and spent several months in prison.

Calixto R Martínez Arias jailed nearly 7 months for breaking cholera story
 All of this raises two obvious questions: If the number of cases in Cuba are as low as reported by the government are accurate why are the only reported cases of tourists from these three impacted countries with cholera from Cuba? What are the actual number of cases and fatalities in Cuba?

No comments:

Post a Comment