Haiti struggles to cope with a deadly cholera outbreak - "most likely, according to one news report, imported into Haiti by a healthy carrier after the earthquake..."
Recommended HLLN Link:
A chilling video testimony of brackish Red Cross water in Haiti - Cholera confirmed in Haiti capital. For another compelling testimony on Red Cross delivering filthy water to Haiti victims since the earthquake, view also: How did the Red Cross spend $106 Million Dollars in Haiti: (Ezili Dantò's note: Amongst some of the testimonies that's not clearly translated in this most valuable video: a woman standing next to a small child repeating "no, no, no," points to a water drum with a "Red Cross" sign on it and says that even the water they give is not treated. She explains that she drinks it because she has no money to buy good drinkable water but suffers right now from a stomach ache from drinking the Red Cross' polluted water.)
Here's an example of help Haiti could use that is beyond Clinton/CocaCola/Sweatshops/Monsanto hybrid seeds/unregulated gold/copper and other foreign mining, and more foreign toxins that further pollutes Haiti's ground water: Communication, Water purifier, electricity and environmentally conscious, all in one - http://bit.ly/dn0wQn
Listen to Ezili Dantò interview on Ban2 Radio, London w/ Griot Chi, Oct. 4, 2010 (26:08) http://bit.ly/dwkriH, Oct. 4, 2010 and see post Haiti: I Can't Stand the Rain on the current situation in Haiti.
Foul Drinking Water killing Haitians?
Since the January 12 earthquake, medical authorities have expected the compelling unsanitary conditions of corpses, rubble, nearly two million homeless people living in the streets in crowded tent/tarp/sheet camps and the expected heavy downpours from the rainy hurricane season to nurture disease epidemics. But, they expected the diseases "in areas hit by the earthquake, and certainly not cholera, " said Alex Larsen, Haiti's Minister of Health. Cholera has never before been found on the island.
According to Larsen, cholera is a new disease in Haiti, and became evident on Tuesday, October 19, 2010 in the Northern Departments of the Artibonite area and lower Central Plateau (East), Haiti. Initially it killed 140 Haitians and at least 1500 more were reported infected. Cholera "is very dangerous. It can kill in three hours because once the diarrhea starts it doesn't stop." Although initially no cases had been reported in Port au Prince, Claude Surena, the head of Haiti's Medical Association, told AP that "The concern is that it could go from one place to another place … and affect more people."
Cholera is caused by drinking dirty toxic water, or eating food cooked in contaminated water. The surprise is that Haitians not directly affected by the earthquake, living outside of the capital in areas where there has always been a shortage of clean drinking water are suddenly getting sick. Where are the additional toxins coming from? The assumption the International NGOs, aid agencies and UN are making is that the Artibonite River is contaminated, making the people living in the regions where the river crosses sick with cholera. But how did this river, situated North from the earthquake devastation in Port au Prince and other areas South become the source of the cholera disease? How did it move up North to the Artibonite River from the Southern parts of Haiti? "There is no evidence," suggests Dr. Gabriel Timothee, a Haitian public health official, that the Artibonite River is the source of the disease and "examinations are under way to try to determine the source of the disease." (See, Alterpress - Haïti-Choléra : Situation d’urgence humanitaire 9 mois après la catastrophe du 12 janvier ; Une maladie importée, la MINUSTAH clame son innocence; MINUSTAH denies rumour that it spread cholera in Haiti; and, Maeva Bambuck, a France 24 (English) reporter in Haiti, also reports there is a strong suspicion the cholera outbreak originated from the Nepalese UN soldiers who may be infected carriers of cholera and are stationed on the banks of the Meille river that feeds into Artibonite region of the outbreak.)
Haiti news outlets report President Rene Preval also maintains that the strain of Vibrio cholerae is imported, and that cholera has never been present before in the country.
Carte d'Haïti situant les départements touchés par le choléra
The suffering for Haitians deepen. The questions mount. Why are people in the Artibonite and Central areas suddenly suffering in great numbers from drinking brackish water that's been that way for centuries, and not killed them? What's the new element contaminating the Artibonite River that hasn't been in Haiti for a century? Could the unregulated gold, copper, iridium and other toxic mining operations up North of the Artibonite River, by Western companies benefiting from the 2004 Bush Regime change and UN occupation, be the new element polluting Haiti’s water table? (See, Haiti's Riches: Interview with Ezili Dantò on Mining in Haiti). Or, was the cholera bacteria simply deliberately put into Haiti by the same mindset that just made it necessary for President Obama to apologize to the Guatemalans for the US medical and government establishments which deliberately infected Guatemalans with STDs?
Speaking of brackish water, if it's proven that the Artibonite River is infected and that this most likely comes from an infected Haitian person from the earthquake refugee camps, who travelled North, then any scientific analysis of this cholera situation must also take into account that the displaced people in the camps of Port au Prince have been complaining since two months after the earthquake that the Red Cross water they've been given to drink, for instance, gives them stomach aches.
No one knows for sure yet how cholera got to Haiti. But it's in Haiti now and either foul drinking water or food that's been soaked or cooked in contaminated water is killing a new crop of Haitians, giving them cholera while donations that could have provided permanent clean drinking water are collecting interests for the thousands of charity organizations making a business out of poverty and the earthquake in Haiti.
AP, BBC, the New York Times and other mainstream news parrot each other, not emphasizing that cholera has never before been found in Haiti. The racist assumption is Haitians are always diseased and the invasion of international charity workers and UN soldiers are all healthy from countries with no cholera diseases, so these news agencies so far only deign to write that cholera has not been found in Haiti for "centuries." But at least one news report does firmly explain this is the first time that cholera has been found in Haiti and this cholera epidemic most likely was imported to Haiti by a healthy carrier after the earthquake.
A week after the initial reports of the Haiti cholera epidemic, other cases of diarrhea in the West, particularly the island of Gonave, the Acahaie, Carrefour (southern suburbs) and within the capital Port-au-Prince were being reported. The deathtoll had risen to 284 and those infected to 3, 612 and was steadily climbing. (See, Haiti reports 25 new cholera deaths.)
"(S)ome observers fault the US for in the past blocking funds to improve Haiti’s water systems. In 2001, in response to the policies of then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the US blocked the Inter-American Development Bank from loaning $54 million to assist Haiti’s public-water system.
The report “Wòch nan Soley: The Denial of the Right to Water in Haiti,” found that “the United States actively impeded the Haitian government’s capacity to fulfill Haitians’ human right to water through its actions, thus breaching its duty to respect human rights.” (Haiti cholera outbreak 'stabilizing' – but could affect election.)
this sort of environmentally conscious water purifying unit (MaxPure-01
http://bit.ly/dn0wQn ) or a similar mobile systems that will provide purified drinking water, communication and electricity, all in one.
We should not be looking to the NGOs, the Haiti Oligarchy, the Haiti government, Papa Clinton, Paul Farmer or the UN to help us save our people.
We've had 10-months and much more of such "help" and ought to know what to expect. The airport is now open, Haitians are not being forced to detour to the Dominican Republic. Those who have resources and skills, especially Haitian doctors ought to take a lead in providing permanent long term clean drinking water and subsidize Haitian medical services and doctors in Haiti who need help and who were put out of business by the free earthquake relief emergency assistance.
The Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN) would like to make a positive difference but we do not have monetary resources to purchase these or similar all-inclusive water/ electricity/ communication units for the villagers. Something like this Max-Pure-01 system is what is necessary as well as information on how to prevent cholera and reliable self-help info on natural herbal remedies if infected. We're coming to the Ezili Network and asking for a partnership with others in the Diaspora, at home and in the conscious community worldwide. But if you've looking for the International Community to finance permanent clean drinking water for the masses, that doesn't come from a bottle or purification pill to be purchased from USAID's profiteering contractors making a killing off the poverty business, you're too unconscious to help anyone. Kindly don't contact us with your contributions to "saving lives" while promoting dependency in Haiti. For Haiti's problems are rooted in "aid" administered in the context of patronage and dependence aimed at perpetuating oppression and exploitation.
But if you understand the poverty business will not leave any permanent good or infrastruture in Haiti, like self-renewing, permanent clean drinking water, because that would make their presence obsolete, then we could work together. We'd like help to mobilize the conscious community to provide self-reliant, permanent source of clean drinking water for the people DYING in Haiti. Please let us know how we may use the Ezili Network to help. These environmentally conscious, solar-powered systems, along with bulldozers, tractors and heavy equipment for removing rubble should have already been in Haiti at least a month after the earthquake. But humanitarian aid is profit business and though the technology and equipment exist to alleviate the common person's sufferings worldwide, none of the policymakers with checkbook power are in the business of saving lives unless its profitable or meets US Empire incessant resource warfare and big-business interests.
Remember, all the International Community will do with this cholera outbreak is blame it on the "diseased Haitians" to perpetuate their existence in Haiti; rehash this disinformation and colonial narrative ad nausea to continue to contain Haiti in perpetual dependence, death, misery and poverty; distract from the uncomfortable questions of "where are the donation dollars and reconstruction monies"; use the occasion to solicit more monies to buy their own country's antibiotics, dehydration pills or bottled water leaving no permanently renewable clean water infrastructure in Haiti as usual. Or, suppressed the number of Haitians dying in order to make themselves look good because they KEPT the earthquake donations collecting interest in the NGO/charitable organization's coffers for "future use." Almost 300 Haitians, not including those dead from the recent rains, but who've died of cholera now have NO FUTURE and over 3,700 are said to be infected. Here's the de-contextualized refrain: Right now the infection is an epidemic. There has not been such an epidemic in the region for a century...It could kill "tens of thousands" and "likely to remain in Haiti for years to come" (See Cholera Epidemic in Haiti Highlights Deteriorating Conditions | October 22, 2010 - 1:20 PM | by: Steve Harrigan. http://bit.ly/cP1Zmg ; Haiti's first cholera epidemic in a century kills scores, Guardian.co.uk .)
Of course it matters not that the evidence is not yet in as to what’s the source of the water and food contamination or if a non-Haitian, such as the UN soldiers or the aid workers, transmitted the disease from their countries or travels into Haiti and are infecting and transmitting to vulnerable and over-stressed Haitians. Haiti is blamed just as it was erroneously blamed and ostracized for originating the HIV virus. The Dominican Republic sealed its border with "cholera-plagued Haiti," presumably so not to be contaminated by the contagious, disease-ridden Haitians.
But, according to a recent news report cholera killed more than 1,500 people and infected nearly 40,000 in Nigeria. Why isn't the DR worried about the Nigerian UN soldiers in Haiti? Nepal also has regular cholera outbreaks and there are Nepalese United Nations soldiers, for instance, participating in the UN mission in Haiti stationed in the regions the cholera outbreak started . (Nepal: Cholera outbreak in Kathmandu, September 23, 2010; Cholera outbreak in Nepal under control, says WHO.)
Just this week ninety-nine cholera cases were confirmed in Pakistan . There are Pakistan UN MINUSTAH soldiers, as well as soldiers from other known cholera regions, stationed in Haiti who also could have come into Haiti with the infection.
Responding to the charge, made by Mirebalais Mayor Laguerre Lochard, that there are no Haiti cholera cases up-river from the Nepalese soldiers' UN base, who he says contaminated the Meile river that, in turn, probably contaminated the Artibonite river, the UN denied it spread the cholera that infected Haitians. The UN mission asserted that it used proper procedures to dispose of its soldiers' feces. But, Haitian observers ask what if the septic tanks leaked or were not properly disposed by the hired UN subcontractor or the otherwise properly buried contaminated feces somehow seeped into Haiti's ground water with the recent downpours, storms and floodings? (See, Une maladie importée, la MINUSTAH clame son innocence.)
The Dominican Republic closing their borders liquidates the jobs and livelihoods of hundreds if not thousands of small Haiti merchants and traders. As if cholera is terminal and not easily treated or is not transmitted by drinking or eating contaminated food/water. Of course, much of Haiti’s food and water comes from the Dominican Republic and or from US companies using the DR, so their trucks continue to cross to and from Haiti. Contamination from food or water imported to Haiti by foreigners is not assumed. The Dominican Republic closing its borders, along with the media, UN and WHO making declarations that there is a disease in Haiti that could kill "tens of thousands" and "was likely to remain in Haiti for years to come" even before there were any deaths reported in the crowded refugee camps in the capital almost implies that cholera is a contagious air-borne disease that's not controllable. Informing the public is one thing. But there is a grave danger here for opportunistic and predatory misinformation that Haitians know well.
"Haiti pains are a good capital asset for the NGO industry. They wouldn’t have a job, salaries and tropical vacations and the illicit black sex they crave from Africans, without our pains, indignities, death, submissions and sufferings. Imagine swallowing the nutritional supplements, vitamins, vaccines and the other pharmaceuticals USAID insist are "aid to Haiti," when you've not eaten in four days? And the HIV drugs (and now "medicine" and rehydration tablets for cholera) you have to swallow are also washed down with toxic ground water, in some ways also from US/Euro/ Canada gold, copper, oil, iridium, uranium, coal, marble, granite, limestone, aggregate and other mining companies who pollute Haiti's shores and riverbeds. When the earthquake hit, many of us who lived through the two recent US coup d’etats in Haiti, the two Gonaives hurricane destructions of 2004 and then in 2008, knew these poverty pimps, knew they would crank up the press releases and telethons and collect and collect and collect, while the majority of people suffer, lose more, grieve and die in Haiti. In our minds' eye we saw USAID, CRS, CARE, Red Cross, World Vision, et al... sad perhaps, but still calculating and salivating at the huge prospects of monies to be collected from the deaths and brutal suffering of Haitians. It’s a profitable gig the poverty pimps are just not about to give up." (See, Poverty Pimps Masturbating on Black Pain: Monsanto Joins pack, May 17, 2010 http://bit.ly/dj4mUc)
"A U.N. Report released in March of 2010 said that dirty water kills more people each year than all forms of violence combined including war. According to the WHO, of the 42,000 deaths that occur every week from unsafe water and a lack of basic sanitation, 90% are children under 5 years old...80 percent of all disease is caused by lack of basic sanitation and lack of clean water. There are 4,500 kids that die everyday from lack of basic sanitation and water"simple diseases like diarrhea. But (Lane Wood) said, there are some less obvious impacts of drinking dirty water. For example, dirty water can undermine other humanitarian efforts that money and effort have been poured into, like efforts to control AIDS/HIV in Africa. They're going home, they're taking their medicine with bacteria-filled water, and their bodies are not absorbing the medicine." (The Plantation called Haiti: Feudal Pillage Masking as Humanitarian Aid - http://bit.ly/929NXS ; Lane Wood says 2010 earthquake took toll on Haiti's water - http://bit.ly/br88o3)
Ezili Dantò of HLLN
Forwarded by Ezili's Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network
Natural herbal remedies to treat cholera
An example of help Haiti could use that is beyond Clinton/CocaCola/Sweatshops/Monsanto hybrid seeds/unregulated gold/copper and other foreign mining, and more foreign toxins that further pollutes Haiti's ground water:
-Communication, Water purifier, electricity and environmentally conscious, all in one - http://bit.ly/dn0wQn
- Cholera can be deadly within hours
- Haiti reports 25 new cholera deaths
Cholera kills more than 1,500 people in Nigeria;
- Poverty Pimps Masturbating on Black Pain: Monsanto Joins pack, May 17, 2010 http://bit.ly/dj4mUc)
- The Plantation called Haiti: Feudal Pillage Masking as Humanitarian Aid - http://bit.ly/929NXS
- May 6, 2011 update - UN Responsibility for importing cholera
Cholera Epidemic in Haiti Highlights Deteriorating Conditions
October 22, 2010 - 1:20 PM | by: Steve Harrigan
In one sense, the cholera epidemic in Haiti comes as a surprise. There has not been such an epidemic in the region for a century. The fact that at least 140 people have died and 1500 are infected is a sign of just how bad conditions have deteriorated since the January earthquake.
Cholera comes from contaminated water or food, often contaminated by feces. In Haiti now more than one million people live in tarps or tents in fields. When it rains the sanitary conditions and the mud are often abysmal.
Cholera can kill someone within a day if untreated from fluid loss through diarrhea and vomiting. The old and the young are most vulnerable.
There is a sense of urgency from both the government and aid groups to get clean water and water filters to the site of the worst outbreak, about 60 miles North of the capital Port au Prince. If the infections were to spread to the massive tent cities around the capital the death toll could rise rapidly.
Right now the infection is an epidemic, but whether that epidemic has peaked or will continue to grow depends on the ability to overcome Haiti's logistical challenges and get clean water and rehydration tablets to those in need quickly.
Cholera Hits Haiti, and Public-Health Experts Worry it Will Spread
By Katherine Hobson
When the earthquake in Haiti hit in January, experts told the Health Blog that health problems from poor sanitation and crowded conditions would likely continue well into the future.
As the WSJ reports, what public-health experts say is the first big post-quake disease outbreak has now been confirmed: a cholera epidemic in the Artibonite region of the country. The area has become home to a lot of earthquake refugees, and even before the quake obtaining clean water was a problem, the paper says, citing a spokesman for public-health group Partners in Health, which has a longtime presence in Haiti.
The Associated Press reports that the director of Haiti’s health ministry said at least 142 people have died and more than a thousand hospitalized. The president of the Haitian Medical Association tells the AP the concern is that it will spread within the region or move to another one.
David Darg, from the humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International, writing on Reuters’ AlertNet blog, describes a “horror scene” at St. Marc hospital:
I had to fight my way through the gate as a huge crowd of worried relatives stood outside, while others screamed for access as they carried dying relatives into the compound. The courtyard was lined with patients hooked up to intravenous (IV) drips. It had just rained and there were people lying on the ground on soggy sheets, half-soaked with feces. Some children were screaming and writhing in agony, others were motionless with their eyes rolled back into their heads as doctors and nursing staff searched desperately for a vein to give them an IV. The hospital was overwhelmed, apparently caught out suddenly by one of the fastest killers there is.
The World Health Organization says the disease, characterized by acute diarrhea, can be treated with oral rehydration salts in 80% of cases. Clean water supplies and good sanitation are key to preventing and containing the disease.
Photo: AFP/Getty Image