A total of 140 people have died of cholera in recent days in south-western Haiti, a region that had been largely spared the epidemic that has killed more than 1,880 people since mid-October, medical sources said.
“We have had a high number of deaths in communities where people are linking the illness with witchcraft,” Dr Duvelson Angellio, with health management in Grand Anse, said on Sunday (local time).
In the south-western department of Grand Anse, there were 57 cholera deaths in medical establishments and another 83 in towns, department data showed.
“There should be more but we have not been able to reach all the areas yet to verify the data we are getting,” Dr Angellio added.
Meanwhile, at least 14 people believed to be sorcerers have been lynched in the same region in recent days as local people feared they were spreading cholera with a magical substance.
In Grand Anse “we are facing a cultural problem. People think the illness is supernatural in nature. They do not follow [health] recommendations,” Dr Angellio said.
Cholera has spread rapidly in the weeks since it broke out in northern Haiti.