Posted by: Lauren--NY | November 14, 2010

Generation XYZ Haiti: Cholera Hits Port-au-Prince

“Charity should begin at home, but should not stay there.” ~Phillips Brooks

The recent cholera outbreak in Haiti has been devastating, but the report that it has reached the capital city of Port-au-Prince means that the epidemic has reached a new level. This is not only due to the population that is concentrated there, but due to the fact that so many are still living in the IDP camps that were set up in desperation following the January 2010 earthquake. These camps, while brilliantly run by trained doctors and specialists, are not equipped with the sanitation conditions that are necessary for preventing the spread of waterborne diseases like cholera. This susceptibility has been further increased by the recent flooding caused by Hurricane Tomas, which caused the overflow of the cholera-carrying Artibonite River in St. Marc, which directly killed at least 20.

A public awareness campaign has been launched by NGOs in the area such as Doctors without Borders, encouraging hand-washing and the boiling of drinking water, but it didn’t stop a reported 796 deaths. NGOs are distributing bottled water as quickly as possible, but managing the sewage situation is the primary obstacle. According to CNN, “Epidemiologists predict the outbreak could last for months and say the entire nation of almost 10 million people is at risk because they have no immunity to cholera. The United Nations warned that Haiti is facing one of the most severe outbreaks of the disease in the past 100 years. It appealed to international donors for $164 million in aid and said it anticipates as many as 200,000 people to be sickened with cholera over the next six to 12 months.”

I urge all my readers to keep the pressure on the American press to report on this more than they have been. I also encourage donations to Renewal 4 Haiti, JP/HRO (Jenkins/Penn Haitian Relief Organization), Global DIRT (Disaster Immediate Response Team), Doctors without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières), Save the Children and CARE. Renewal 4 Haiti is a grassroots organization based in Léogâne, a coastal city at the epicenter of the earthquake that was ravaged in January and is now hugely threatened by cholera. They are working to provide vocational job-training for Haitians and to rebuild and improve the Haitian-run Camejo hospital, which collapsed in the quake. Please be advised–especially if you are medical personnel–of the list of supplies that this organization is requesting from donors.  Follow their Executive Director, Jodel Charles, @Renewal4Haiti for more ways you can get involved.

To learn more about the Camejo Health Center, please watch this United Nations report:

As I have mentioned before on this blog, JP/HRO, Sean Penn’s non-profit relief organization, continues to make an incredibly valuable contribution in Port-au-Prince. Their medical coordinator is my dear friend Alison Thompson, who I had the privilege of interviewing for this blog in May of this year. If you are at all interested in Haiti, you must follow her on Twitter @lightxxx. You must also follow her colleague, Aleda Frishman, @aledajd.

I also highly recommend @globalDIRT. Their representative Kim Driscoll is another friend of the Grotto, and I had the privilege of interviewing her earlier this year as well, so check that out for some illumination about DIRT and their incredible contributions.  They detail their cholera response here. I also recommend following an independent infectious disease specialist based at the general hospital in Port-au-Prince, Dr. Megan Coffee, @DokteCoffee, and Haitian musician and hotel owner Richard Morse, @RAMHaiti. Dr. Coffee’s personal blog is at http://doctorcoffee.org.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta recently interviewed JP/HRO’s Julia Santos and Dr. Megan Coffee for CNN:

Learn how to use your routine online shopping to support CARE and help Haiti here.

Follow my Haiti list on Twitter and you will see the tweets of all the aforementioned users in addition to many others–average citizens, journalists, NGO volunteers, doctors and nurses.  Follow me @TheGrottoTweets, and new readers can see what I’m all about here.

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The Grotto Blog by Lauren E. Moccio is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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Responses

  1. The actual Current Events in Haiti earthquake that killed thousands of Haitian is forever imprinted a concern provided we live. Sadly , many of us have long forgotten of the events of this time, thus begging the question: ‘How will we become reminded from the catastrophe that scarred the lives of a large number of Haitians?’ Keep reading to learn more about why you should buy or make T-shirt For Haiti.

  2. hi I was fortunate to search your subject in bing
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    • Thank you so much for stopping by, love–the design theme for this blog is available to any WordPress.com user and was created by the talented Ed Merritt. You can find more of his work at http://www.edmerritt.com. xx

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Laurie Beth and Jodel Charles, Jodel Charles. Jodel Charles said: THANK YOU Laurie, for helping get the word out! RT @TheGrottoTweets Generation XYZ #Haiti: #Cholera Hits Port-au-Prince http://bit.ly/9gUkT9 […]


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