Thursday, November 11, 2010

Haiti, Cholera: Yes, It's in Port-au-Prince

"Haiti - Epidemic : 73 cases of cholera confirmed in Port-au-Prince, 1 dead" (November 11, 2010)

"Since October 21, cholera in Haiti, made at least 583 victims reported officially.

"9,123 people infected with Vibrio cholerae type O1 are hospitalized. The cholera epidemic is now considered as 'a national security issue,' said on Tuesday Gabriel Thimothé, the Director General of Haitian Ministry of Health.

"According to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, the five regions, the Artibonite, Center, North, Northwest and West of Haiti and the capital, are now affected by cholera...."

So far this year, Haiti's had a major earthquake that destroyed buildings and killed people, a near-miss by a hurricane that did about the same thing on a smaller scale, and a cholera outbreak that wasn't helped by the hurricane.

Aside from that, the Haitian economy is in bad shape and their country's infrastructure - roads, water systems, power, and so forth - is in even worse shape than it was before the earthquake.

This hasn't been a particularly good year for Haitians.

Part of the World Health Organization's (WHO) website focuses on Haiti:

The most recent update on disease outbreaks there is from last week:

"Cholera in Haiti - update 2"
World Health Organization (November 4, 2010)

"As of 3 November, the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) reported 6 742 cholera cases including 442 deaths. The departments where confirmed cases have been reported include Artibonite, Centre, Nord, Nord-Ouest, and Ouest.

"Laboratory test on the cholera strain linked to the current outbreak in Haiti conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta showed that it is most similar to cholera strains found in South Asia. ..."

That's a lot of people dead and ill. A little quick arithmetic: 442/6,742 = 0.065....

As of around the middle of last week, it looks like around 6.5% of the folks in Haiti who got cholera - and let WHO know about it - died.

Sure: it isn't a particularly huge percentage of the country's 9,000,000 or so - - - Wait a minute. That article said that 9,123 folks were infected. 9,123/9,000,000: that's very roughly 1/1000. It's still not a very large fraction. But it's noticeable.

What if Tampa Took Ill?

For folks living in the United States, this comparison might help put the numbers from Haiti in perspective. America has about 310,000,000 folks living here.

If 1/1000 of us had cholera - that'd be about 310,000 cases. That's very roughly the population of Tampa, Florida ("Tampa's Population Moves Up In Ranking -- Tampa is now the 53rd largest city in the U.S." City of Tampa, Florida, press release (July 8, 2009))

Everybody in Tampa, Florida, coming down with cholera wouldn't bring this nation to its knees: but America is in much better shape to begin with than Haiti is. And - we'd notice if that many Americans got sick.

'Money isn't Everything' - But It Helps

No pressure, like the Lemming's said before. But folks in Haiti could use a little help. 'Money isn't everything,' but when someone's rounding up supplies, trying to get the shipped across part of the Atlantic - and pay people enough so that they can drop what they're doing and go help Haitians? Having money helps.

List of Charities

I put together a list of charities, back in January, 2010. Some of them you've heard of, some of them maybe not. I haven't checked every URL, but the ones I did - worked. One more thing: It's a good idea to make sure that the outfit you're giving money to is legit. You can do that to your own satisfaction better than I could.

Okay. Here's a link to that list of charities:That page also has lists of posts in this, and other, blogs about Haiti.

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