Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Haiti, Nigeria, Cholera

"Haiti, Nigeria Battle Cholera"
Voice of America (October 26, 2010)

"Health providers and aid groups have mobilized to combat outbreaks of cholera in Haiti and Nigeria. Often causing extreme dysentery and dehydration, cholera arises from a strain of bacteria that is easily spread and hard to eradicate from infected zones. Cholera is a common after-effect of natural calamities.

"Ever since January's massive earthquake devastated Haiti, health officials have warned of the dangers of cholera. In a country where public sanitation infrastructure is poor to non-existent and clean drinking water is often hard to come by, more than 3,000 cholera cases and more than 250 deaths have been reported in recent weeks, mostly north of Port-au-Prince.

"Doctor John Andrus, Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization, spoke with reporters this week:

" 'People with low immunity, such as malnourished children or people with the HIV virus, are of greatest risk for death, if infected [with cholera],' said Andrus...."

Haiti and Nigeria aren't alone: There have been cholera outbreaks in Zimbabwe, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, too, according to the article.

The Lemming ran into the assertion that the earthquake in Haiti didn't cause cholera. True enough: the disease is caused by a bacteria. Roads, water handling systems, and buildings being destroyed by the earthquake in Haiti - and a great many folks who weren't killed having to move - in a country that was terribly poor to begin with - probably didn't help keep cholera from happening, either.

The Lemming is concentrating on Haiti - partly because it's closest to home; partly because it takes time to put together a list of charities; partly because quite a number of the outfits that help Haiti are interested in places around the world.

Related posts:More about Haiti, including a list of charities:

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