* Central Artibonite region remains epicenter of outbreak
* Capital Port-au-Prince has had 27 deaths so far
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) - The death toll from
Haiti's cholera epidemic has reached more than 900 and the
disease is present in six of the 10 provinces of the
earthquake-battered Caribbean country, the Health Ministry said
An update on the ministry website (www.mspp.gouv.ht) said
as of Nov. 12, there had been 917 deaths and more than 14,600
hospitalized cases since the outbreak began more than three
weeks ago in the Western Hemisphere's poorest state.
The central rural province of Artibonite, the epicenter of
the epidemic, remained the worst affected, accounting for
nearly 600 of the total deaths. Other provinces affected were
Centre, Nord, Nord Ouest, Sud, and Ouest, where the capital
Port-au-Prince is located.
The capital, which bore the brunt of destruction from the
Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti, has recorded 27 deaths up to Nov.
12. The government and its aid partners are fighting to prevent
the disease spreading in crowded city slums and tent camps
housing over 1.3 million homeless earthquake survivors.
The United Nations forecasts up to 200,000 Haitians could
contract cholera as the outbreak extends across the country of
nearly 10 million, and says $163.9 million in aid is needed
over the next year to combat the epidemic.
Despite the cholera outbreak, which has stretched relief
agencies and complicated the faltering U.N.-led recovery
following the earthquake, presidential and legislative
elections are scheduled to go ahead as planned on Nov. 28.
(Reporting by Pascal Fletcher; Editing by Stacey Joyce)
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