Changing Waters: Cholera Permeates Life in Haiti Before the international response to the earthquake of 2010 one challenge Haiti didn't face was cholera. Now it does, with 7,000 already dead and a continuing challenge for the entire country.
In the summer of 2012, nearly two years after the outbreak of cholera in Haiti, the devastating illness remains a pervasive threat. When the disease first surged in October 2010, the bacteria affected not only waterways but also the daily lives and cultural psyche of Haitians. Cholera has claimed the lives of 7,000 Haitians. It also casts an ominous shadow across life-giving community water sources and taxes the limited resources of the government and health care providers.
Now, as the disease becomes endemic, the seasonal spikes of cases provide a backdrop to questions about how the country will respond. Historic distrust of UN peacekeeping forces has evolved into bitter blame. Allegations as to the UN's role in bringing cholera to Haiti dominate a Haitian court case against the world body. Aid agencies and government bodies scramble to confront the epidemic, but concerns have arisen that such services are only a quick fix for a problem that lies deep within Haiti’s water and sanitation infrastructure. Medically, treating cholera in an individual is relatively cheap and easy. But for the country as a whole the challenge is only getting more complicated.
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A recent graduate of Boston University, Meghan received her degree with honors in journalism with a minor in anthropology. While in Boston, she worked as an intern at Harvard University and the...
Jason is a graduate student at the Boston University's School of Public Health where he is pursuing a masters degree with a focus on International Health. Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, he obtained...
September 18, 2012 / Untold Stories
In Haiti, cholera isn't just a disease—it's a question of justice. Lawyers Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph pursue reparations for cholera victims through a court case filed against the UN.
August 28, 2012 / Untold Stories
In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaac, flooded tents and concerns about the spread of cholera show that Haiti is still vulnerable to natural disasters.
August 7, 2012 / Untold Stories
Two years after the onset of cholera in Haiti, efforts to improve public health practices, such as hand-washing and drinking purified water, are paying off. Daily routines are changing—albeit slowly.
August 7, 2012 / Untold Stories
"Water poverty" is difficult to calculate and harder to conceptualize. After cholera erupted in Haiti, what does water poverty mean to Haitians in their daily life?
August 2, 2012 / Huffington Post
Partners in Health and others collaborated to provide thousands with a cholera vaccine – a little individual protection. Now, how do we keep the bacteria from reaching Haitians in the first place?
July 27, 2012 / Untold Stories
Two documentary filmmakers put pressure on the United Nations to accept the blame for Haiti's cholera outbreak—and they're doing it with a film about a young boy who loves baseball.
July 26, 2012 / Huffington Post
Health workers in Haiti struggle to prevent cholera—advocating behavioral change as well as latrines with walls. What they often find is a disconnect between knowledge and action.
July 26, 2012 / Untold Stories
Don’t let the daily routine or closing of treatment centers fool you. Cholera is here to stay in Haiti, and people have the paper to prove it.
July 23, 2012 / Untold Stories
In Haiti's Cité Soleil, a poor water and sanitation infrastructure leaves a community at constant risk for water-borne illnesses.
July 11, 2012 / Global Post
Fifteen thousand Haitians filed a suit against the United Nations demanding cholera reparations. Seven months later, the case still sits idle. What can they do now?
"We will illuminate dark places and, with a deep sense of responsibility, interpret these troubled times."
JOSEPH PULITZER III (1913-1993)