At ICC we have been very diligent in updating you about the health situation in Haiti regarding cholera. Back in April, we touched base with you to share that Haitian officials were reporting a spike in cholera cases.
It has since been reported, based on health data throughout 2015, that Haiti alone registered 98% of total cholera cases in the Americas. In Haiti, since the beginning of the epidemic, in October 2010, through November 12, 2015, there have been 754,735 cholera cases, including 9,068 deaths.
Haiti has the poorest quality sanitation access in the Western hemisphere; it is therefore no shock that cholera is wreaking such havoc in the nation, compared to neighboring Dominican Republic and Cuba. There is a severe lack of access to clean drinking water and sanitation, as well as an absence of good hygiene practices.
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.