Cholera Crisis Growing In Haiti

The humanitarian crisis and long road to recovery in Haiti are continuing even if it is no longer front page news.

At Everyday Christian we have written extensively about the country since the Jan. 12 earthquake and today Haiti re-emerged to forefront – and not for a positive reason.

Cholera has quickly become a problem in central Haiti. According to the Los Angeles Times, it has impacted more than 2,000 people in a rural area near the Artibonite River with 140 deaths. The very real fear is that it will spread to Port-au-Prince where hundreds of thousands of people are still living in tent camps where sanitation is poor.

Christian humanitarian organizations are quickly ramping up preparing for the work and undoubtedly praying – as we should – for the best.

According to a World Vision press release, the Haiti Epidemic Advisory System now says there are reports of additional cholera cases 25 kilometers – about 16 miles – outside of Port-au-Prince.

“This is extremely worrying. Early reports indicate that many of the casualties showed few symptoms and, in some cases, died within 24 to 48 hours,” said Dr. Estrella Serrano, World Vision's emergency response health and nutrition manager.  “If the epidemic makes its way to Port-au-Prince, where children and families are living in unsanitary, overcrowded camps, the results could be disastrous.”

World Vision is sending its water, sanitation and health teams to the region to do full assessments and is also coordinating its response with UNICEF, the Government of Haiti and other international aid agencies.

Additionally, Charleston, S.C.-based Water Missions International is sending additional water treatment systems out into the field to try and stem the tide of disease.

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