Saturday, October 23, 2010


If the Haitian people haven't suffered enough this year, they are now facing a Cholera outbreak.  Cholera is a severe form of diarrhea that leads to dehydration, and ultimately death.  It is spread through drinking unclean water and eating contaminated food.  Poor sanitation is also an easy way to spread this bacteria.  It can easily be treated if health care is available.  Rehydration fluids are essential, and could be made at home with clean water, salt, and sugar.  At COTP we make this often when our kids are sick.  Many Haitians don't have these supplies.

Currently this outbreak is in the Saint Marks and Gonaives area, but could likely spread to Port au Prince which would be devastating with hundreds of thousand people still living in tent cities, having no access to clean water and poor sanitization.  We are hoping that it does not spread to the Cap Haitien area, but it very well could.

As of yesterday they were estimating that at least 150 people have died from this and that at least 1800 have been affected.  It's very likely that these estimates are way low and that this outbreak will be around for a few months, reeking havoc all over Haiti.

Things like this remind me of how privileged I am, even living in Haiti.  If my fellow Haitian were to contract this, they likely wouldn't have any access to medical care, and would probably pass away with out receiving any help.  If I were to contract this (although not nearly as likely as a Haitian would be to contract it) I would get rehydration fluids immediately and would more than likely make it.  In worse case scenario, I would be evacuated to Florida or the DR to receive treatment.  This is not even fathomable for most Haitians.  

I have access to clean water, many Haitians don't.  I have an unlimited supply of soap and hand sanitizer to help prevent this, most Haitians don't have a days supply.  I am not saying that I couldn't get this, I could, but I am by far more worried about our nannies contracting it.  If this spreads to Cap Haitien it very well could affect our nannies, their friends, and families.  It's difficult to be here and not be able to do anything to prevent this or help out the women I have grown to love.

Here is a CNN article for more info...

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