“A young boy is sleeping, his breathing shallow - his mother watches intently.
Dr Koji Nakashima from Partners in Health, a group working with the Haitian health authorities throughout the country, has spent all day administering intravenous drips to patients.
“The terrifying thing about this disease is how quickly it can kill,” he says. “Patients come in and they’re unresponsive. They don’t have the resources to get here quickly - they come by donkey, on foot. It is a very challenging environment.””(BBC.Com)
While the country is still recovering from January’s devastating earthquake, a cholera outbreak has recently killed nearly 300 Haitians in Haiti. Some of the 1.3 million survivors from the earthquake have been living in tents and living in unsanitary conditions that may have made them extremely vulnerable to the cholera outbreak.
”But children are left to their own devices. They don’t wash themselves correctly and, look, the toilets are right in front of the tents where we live.” (BBC.com)
Cholera is caused by bacteria found in contaminated water or food. Symptoms of Cholera are diarrhea and vomiting that lead to severe dehydration and can kill within 24 hours. What is sad about this is that it can be easily cured through rehydration and antibiotics. The disease will continue to spread because many survivors of the earthquake have weak immune systems.
UN investigators have recently been taking samples of waste from a UN base in Mirebalais because of allegations that the cause of the outbreak might have been from excrement from a newly arrived Nepalese peacekeeping unit. UN and aid agencies are helping in education Haitians on how to prevent the spread of Cholera.
How you can help:
Charitywater.org is an organization dedicated to providing the impoverished in developing countries access to clean water. As I mentioned earlier, Cholera causes vomiting which results in severe dehydration and can be easily cured through rehydration unfortunately not many Haitians have access to clean water.
Doctors without Borders and Partners in Health are currently treating victims of the Cholera outbreak in Haiti you can help them out by visiting their websites:
BBC.com “Terrifying race against time with cholera in Haiti”
BBC.com “Aid agencies fear Haiti cholera moves towards capital”