October 30, 2010


[Cholera is endemic in Nepal and the country suffered outbreaks this summer. The current troop contingent arrived in shifts starting Oct. 9, after the outbreak in their home country and shortly before the disease broke out in Haiti. Cases have been concentrated down river along the Artibonite.]

Protesters march to the Nepal U.N. base in MirebalaisHaiti, Friday Oct. 29, 2010. 
Protesters who blame U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal for Haiti's widening  cholera 
epidemic marched on a rural military base Friday to demand the soldiers leave 
the country. (AP Photo)

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Hundreds of protesters who blame U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal for Haiti's widening cholera epidemic marched on a rural military base Friday to demand the soldiers leave the country.

Demonstrators waving tree branches and carrying anti-U.N. banners walked from the central plateau city of Mirebalais several miles to the gates of the base perched above a tributary of the Artibonite River — a waterway identified by health officials as a conduit for the infection.

The protesters chanted "Like it or not, they must go" as the Nepalese soldiers and other U.N. peacekeepers remained inside.

Cholera has sparked widespread fear in Haiti, where it was unknown before the outbreak was first noticed by authorities Oct. 20. As of Friday morning, more than 4,700 people have been hospitalized and at least 330 have died, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

There has been no scientific conclusion on the origin of the epidemic, which became evident when dozens of patients began dying with high fevers and watery diarrhea at a hospital in the town of St. Marc a few miles from the last stretch of the river.

Experts say the disease was likely imported. Until this month there had not been a diagnosed case of cholera in Haiti as far back as records go in the mid-20th Century, said Claire-Lise Chaignat, head of the global task force on cholera control at the World Health Organization. The disease is pandemic in parts of Africa and Asia.

Speculation among Haitians is increasingly centered on the Nepalese peacekeeping base near Mirebalais, much of it being stoked by politicians including the town's mayor — a Senate candidate — ahead of the Nov. 28 national elections.

Cholera is endemic in Nepal and the country suffered outbreaks this summer. The current troop contingent arrived in shifts starting Oct. 9, after the outbreak in their home country and shortly before the disease broke out in Haiti. Cases have been concentrated down river along the Artibonite.

The U.N. Stabilization Mission in Haiti, known as MINUSTAH by its French initials, is investigating the area around the base for signs of cholera, The Associated Press learned after happening on crews testing the site Wednesday. The results of those tests are still pending.

None of the Nepalese soldiers based there have been tested for cholera because none presented symptoms, mission spokesman Vincenzo Pugliese said Friday. He said media reports published elsewhere saying that all soldiers had tested negative for the disease were incorrect.

"By none of them presenting the symptom of the cholera there was no need to do another test," Pugliese told AP. "It's not the same as saying they were all tested negative because none of them had to be tested." The soldiers have not been tested for cholera since the outbreak, he said.

But about 75 percent of people infected with cholera do not exhibit symptoms and can still shed them into the environment and infect others for two weeks, Pan American Health Organization deputy director Jon Andrus told reporters at a press briefing on Oct. 25.

The U.N.'s Medical Support Manual for peacekeeping operations lists neither diarrhea nor cholera on its list of conditions precluding peacekeeping service.

The mission had initially responded to rumors of the base's involvement with a Tuesday statement saying that sanitation around the base was in line with the standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the United Nations.

But when Associated Press journalists visited Wednesday, they found open and cracked pipes behind the base, with U.N. military investigators taking samples. There was an overpowering smell of human waste, and a pipe leading toward a septic tank was leaking foul-smelling black fluid toward the river.

The waste is dumped across the street in open pits that residents, who live a few yards away, said often overflow into the Artibonite tributary running below. The contractor, Sanco Enterprises SA, says the pits are sprayed with bleach.

On Friday, protesters called on the Haitian government to kick out the Nepalese soldiers.

"The Nepalese brought this disease to the center of Mirebalais," said Ernst Exilume, a 25-year-old student. "We have no water to drink. We have no choice but to drink the water from the river."

International aid groups had made hygiene and the control of disease priorities after the Jan. 12 earthquake, especially as millions of Haitians found themselves homeless and living in tarp and tent settlements around the capital. Throughout the year banners imploring people to wash their hands have hung over streets and on walls.

Scientists from the CDC are retesting samples to determine the nature of the cholera strain at a molecular level, which could help pinpoint its origin, and hope to have results to share with Haiti's Ministry of Health sometime over the weekend, CDC spokesman Tom Skinner told the AP.

Tests can indicate the areas of the world where this cholera strain has been found, but the results may not reveal its national origin or how it got to Haiti, he said.

The U.S. agency is not specifically investigating in the area of the base or taking environmental samples, another CDC spokesman, David Daigle, said.

"For sure it is going to be important to know where the germ came from. I don't know if we are going to get an answer," Chaignat, the WHO official, said.

Associated Press reporters Pierre Richard Luxama in Mirebalais, Colleen Barry in Geneva and Michael Stobbe in Atlanta contributed to this story.
Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

The United Nations has denied allegations that the Haitian cholera started from effluent coming from the base of Nepali peacekeeping troops stationed there.

UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson Martin Nesirky during a press statement Thursday denied that the Nepali troop's base in Mirebalais was responsible for the spread of the deadly disease, which has claimed nearly 300 lives and infected over 4000 others.

Citing a report released by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Nesirky said the samples collected from the Nepalese troops' base showed negative result.

Earlier too, the UN had denied the allegation. In a statement on Tuesday, UN said, "The Nepalese unit there uses seven sealed septic tanks built to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards, emptied every week by a private company to a landfill site a safe 820 feet (250 meters) from the river."

Meanwhile, Associated Press (AP) said its correspondent who visited the site unannounced was witness to the flow of effluent from the peacekeeping base into the source of a River.

"A buried septic tank inside the fence was overflowing and the stench of excrement wafted in the air. Broken pipes jutting out from the back spewed liquid. One, positioned directly behind latrines, poured out a reeking black flow from frayed plastic pipe which dribbled down to the river where people were bathing."

The report further said, "The landfill sites, across the street, are a series of open pits uphill from family homes. Ducks swim and pigs wallow in pools of runoff. The pits abut a steep slope which heads straight down to the river, with visible signs where water has flowed during recent heavy rains."

The people who live nearby said both the on-base septic tank and the pits constantly overflow into the babbling stream where they bathe, drink and wash clothes, the report further said.

"The water is no good at all. You shouldn't wash in it," said Jean-Paul Chery, a sand miner who lives near the human-waste pits with his wife and five children.

Lochard, the mayor, said he had told Nepalese officers not to place the landfill sites in that location but never received feedback from peacekeeping headquarters in Port-au-Prince.

However, UN mission spokesperson, Vincenzo Puglies, denied that the reeking black flows from the base were human waste, saying that the only liquid investigators were testing came from kitchens and showers. He said the pipes had only been exposed for the tests, though he could not explain why the liquid inside them was allowed to flow toward the river. 


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Mukund Apte <mdapte@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Oct 30, 2010 at 1:40 AM
To: The Himalayan Voice <himalayanvoice@gmail.com>
Cc: "Col (Retd) Satish C Dewan" <coldewan@gmail.com>, Prof 'Padma Bhushan' N S Ramaswamy <nsramaswamy@hotmail.com>, chanakya pandit <chanakya_pandit@yahoo.com> 

Dear Sir,

This campaign to blame some one for any epidemics in a region is the ignorance of DOCTORS about the illness. If a person has his immunity in proper strength, no germ can do any harm to him. All the germs are always in the environment, their number changing with the season's suitability. When many people lose the effectiveness of their physical immunity due to their (अयोग्य) eating or behaviour, many people get affected by the germs and epidemic may be the result. thats all. If the people modify their behaviour and food suitably they do recover from the 'epidemic' also. The system of innoculation to make the people safe against an epidemic is also a false belief or अंधश्रद्धा. Edward Jennar who initiated this treatment for देवी is understood to have expressed his regrets (on his deathbed) for his 'invention'. 

Currently we are living under the Western Medical System 'ALLOPATHY'. As everyone is aware, it is a costly system. We i.e' Bhaarateey people are not  rich enough to make use of the same. Moreover this system during last 200 years of existence, has discovered over 30,000 diseases whereas it has no रामबाण उपाय even for one. This system is worth mainly for operations and cutting some damaged body parts. The system is comparatively safe one can say. But surely it is beyond our economic conditions though.  

The allopathic medical(?) system is unreliable, costly as well as concerned to treat only the symptoms of illness and not the illness itself in a patient, The medicines used for treating one disease most of the times give rise to another one (as side effect of these medicines). it is time to go back to our AYURVED for maintaining our health. Ayurved is an उपवेद of ऋग्वेद. Let us discard the allopathy. Even any surgery suggested by doctor must be done when all other non-intrusive treatments have failed. By any surgical intervention in body, it does become 'incomplete'.

As per Ayurved, there are only 3 reasons of contracting any disease,:

      (1)  Earth's revolutions and rotation around the Sun with tilted axis can cause changes in seasons and climate. If our body is not aclaimatized for the change, one may fall sick. He does not have to do anything as treatment. Tolerate the change for a few days and the body will get (automatically, Naturally) aclimatized to the change;

      (2)  Due to pollution (especially by human activities against nature), atmosphere may have some pathogenic germs and bacteria. These may enter body and likely to damage the systems and subsystems thereby giving illness. Already nature has given adequate immunity to our body and the WBCs in the blood will take care of them by anhiliating the anti-bodies to keep body safe. In case you consume only local products in approprate seasons and are keeping contact with local soil, the immunity will improve on its own. Do not eat fruit which is not fresh or out of season (stored in a cold storage). All species are interdependent in the ecology. You have no right to kill mosquitoes just because they bite you and some germs attached to their 'biting needles' may be maleria giving. The mosquitoes do need an odd drop of blood from you for their living. They have no blood generation system in their small bodies. Little blood loss to you should not make you anti-insects to kill them. We use 'Good Night' or some such gas-giving material to kill mosquitoes inside closed bedrooms. Kindly note that the gas coming out of the material is toxic at least. With rooms closed for exceeding 30 minutes may increase proportion of the toxic gas in the rioom sufficient to harm even human life. It is also written (in small minute letters) on the printed sheet coming with the liquid (especially). Whereas the companies recommend using their products burning for more than 8 hours in a night for mosquito-bite free sleep. Be cautious while using any anti-mosquito material giving out toxic gas. The maleria germs even if enter your body cannot give you maleria when you have adequate immunity in your body.;

      (3)  Behaving against nature as well as morality and ethics can give you illness which can be treated only by changing your behaviour and treatment of others in the Nature. Never misbehave with anybody and/or anything.

Since so many years from birth, you are owning and using the body. If anything goes wrong with it, you must be able to decide why it happened and take suitable actions of recovery. The body is a self rectifying machine and its environments must be maintained for its efficiency and effectiveness of recovery. Instead of remembering what wrong did you commit with body, if you approach a Doctor for finding it out, how can he do it correctly within few minutes? Kindly note that machines that he uses can be defective at any time and thereby also his diagnosis may go wrong even if he were an expert.

Since last many years, I have not fallen sick and visited a doctor for any medicine. Why can't we all do the same? I am attaching a routine that I generally follow. I am enclosing  single page details. I am attaching a copy of it for your use. You have to decide if it is ideal for you as it is or needs some minor change/s in it for your personal use. You may pass on this useful routine to others for considering about its use by them.

Every individual is himself to blame for any illness that he acquires, don't you agree sir?

Mukund Apte
Mumbai, India