Britain funds 1,000 medical staff for Haiti cholera outbreak

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Britain said Saturday it is paying for more than 1,000 medical staff to work in Haiti as part of an aid package worth more than 5.6 million pounds to help combat a deadly cholera outbreak there.

Two million pounds (three million dollars, 2.4 million euros) will go to the Pan American Health Organisation to fund 115 doctors, 920 nurses and 740 support staff, the Department for International Development said.

They will set up 12 major cholera treatment centres and 60 other treatment units for the disease, which has killed 1,648 people and is yet to peak.

A further 1.9 million pounds will be given to Oxfam to supply 340,000 people with clean water and toilets in northern Haiti, while one million pounds will go to Plan International to improve water supplies in the northeast.

Another 765,000 pounds will go towards efforts to monitor the spread of the disease in the region.

"Analysis from the UN and our own field team reveals that the response needs to be significantly increased if we are to save thousands from the disease," International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said in a statement.

"We must stop the disease spreading further and trained medical teams and equipment funded by the British taxpayer will bring crucial relief to the devastated country."

© 2010 AFP

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