Arresting Cholera

Arresting Cholera

In the very same year as the Earthquake of 2010, Haiti suffered another major disaster – cholera. Cholera is a bacterial disease caused by ingesting contaminated food or water, and is so powerful, it can cause death within a handful of hours due to extreme dehydration. This Cholera epidemic was the fastest and largest spread in the world, and caused over 10,000 deaths with more than 850,000 people infected. From 2010 until the end of 2012, the OSAPO clinic treated more than 16,000 cholera victims.

The cause of the outbreak was suspected to have been introduced to Haiti by infected peacekeepers from Nepal who were staying at a UN base. Due to improper wastewater treatment, the wastewater from the base often flowed into the nearby river where most of the affected people had acquired water for drinking.

A potable water system was installed through a German built water well and more than 90,000 liters of water were treated and distributed each day. This project enabled OSAPO to almost eradicate cholera in our community. It also increased the number of people with access to potable water to 65%-90%.

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