Today the UN is celebrating World Toilet Day. According to the UN, 2.4 billion people do not have adequate sanitation. This year, World Toilet Day is focusing on the link between sanitation and nutrition in order to draw the world's attention to the importance of toilets in supporting nutrition and improved health.
Haiti has the poorest quality sanitation access in the Western Hemisphere, as the majority of Haiti's 10 million residents do not have access to bathrooms. The area is therefore a rampant breeding ground for cholera, which began in the fall of 2010, after the devastating earthquake. As proven by this epidemic that has killed nearly 9,000 Haitians, the lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation, as well as the absence of good hygiene practices, has deadly consequences.
ICC works towards the elimination of waterborne disease by conducting hygiene education, where ICC health professionals teach individuals the importance of hand hygiene and safe food practices. This program also offers instruction on how to prepare oral rehydration solution to those caring for current cholera patients. While Grace Children’s Hospital isn’t a specified cholera treatment center, it is prepared to treat patients that come to the hospital with this illness.
The building of latrines, which significantly improves sanitation, helps fight the spread of disease. ICC partners with communities, specifically in northern Haiti, to construct latrines for individual families. The local community is responsible to provide materials such as sand, gravel, and blocks, while ICC provides the blue prints and supplies such as cement, tin for the roof, and PVC pipe. ICC pays local laborers to construct the latrines under the supervision of an ICC employee.
The cholera epidemic continues to take the lives of thousands of Haitians living in unsanitary and impoverished areas. Please consider a gift to support hygiene education and the work of ICC.