| Nov 2, 2023
The Ongoing Fight Against Cholera
Cholera Prevention Training In Petit-Goave
Dear GlobalGiving Community,
Cholera first appeared in Haïti in 2010. According to Human Rights Watch, “In 2010, a cholera outbreak in Haïti, which was traced back to sewage negligently released from a United Nations peacekeepers base into a river near the town of Mirebalais, caused about 9,800 deaths and over 820,000 infections.” Due to the current political situation in the country, water and sanitation protocols have not been followed on a regular basis. This put the population in a very vulnerable position, particularly in concentrated areas like Port-Au-Prince and Petit-Goâve.
Now in 2023, cholera re-emerged and is wreaking havoc in the country, especially Petit-Goâve, as reported by Responsab Eugene, the CEO of our partner organization, the Mountainside Peasant Association APHD. During our recent weekly meeting on Friday, October 27th, Responsab Eugene emphasized the urgency of the situation. Cholera is spreading unchecked due to the absence of a comprehensive nationwide strategy from the Haitian government. Without clear guidance, individuals are inadvertently contributing to the proliferation of this deadly waterborne disease. For example, he reported that during the funeral of a person who died from cholera, instead of the health ministry recovering the body, the family held a funeral for the deceased. There were no safety protocols in place at the funeral and eight people, who attended, subsequently contracted cholera and died soon after.
In our previous report, we highlighted the proactive measures taken by the Peasant Associations of our two partner communities. They conducted training sessions in schools and churches, established hand-washing stations equipped with spigots throughout the communities, and launched a public service announcement (PSA) campaign through radio broadcasts and megaphones in the town markets to raise awareness about preventive measures.
These preventive steps include:
1. Hand hygiene: Regularly wash hands with soap and purified water.
2. Avoid touching the face: Keep hands away from the face unless they are clean.
3. Water purification: Purify or boil water for drinking and cooking.
While these efforts were commendable, there is still much work to be done. Petit-Goâve requires sustained intervention. "Cholera intervention needs to be done every day for there to be positive results," emphasized Responsab Eugene. The Peasant Associations in Petit-Goâve are working together to outline the specifics of this ongoing intervention.
The Plan Includes:
1. Continuing radio announcements: Broadcast preventive messages in marketplaces to reach as many people as possible
2. Empowering schoolchildren: Mobilize students to learn and share preventive techniques with their families
3. Distribution of prevention kits: Provide essential items like masks, gloves, soap, bleach, and water-purification tablets to as many individuals as possible
4. Expanding hand-washing stations: Create and place more hand-washing bucket stations within the community and neighboring communities
Our immediate and urgent focus is on raising $7,611.20 to empower the APHD Peasant Association to implement and sustain this plan. Their goal is to maintain these efforts on a daily basis until the cholera situation is under control, with the ultimate objective of eradicating it from Petit-Goâve and all of Haïti permanently.
We thank you in advance and look forward to sharing positive results from this comprehensive intervention with you in our next report.
Be well, stay safe, and stay informed.