Cholera Outbreak in Haiti – What Are The Solutions?
The cholera outbreak that erupted in Haiti late last week has been met with a massive multinational medical response, slowing the death toll and getting much need aide to those affected.
Relief workers are concentrating their efforts on the two hardest hit areas Port-au-Prince and along the Artibonite River watershed. The U.N. peacekeeping force is approximately 12,000 strong, utilizing helicopters, soldiers and trucks to distribute aide. Cuba’s government began mobilizing doctors and nurses to treat patients. U.S. Centers for Disease Control is also sending experts and doctors.
Cholera is basically a result of contaminated drinking water, which can kill within hours, but can also be treated very effectively with a oral rehydration solution of water, sugar and salt. The outbreak highlights a major issue facing not just Haiti, but third world countries all over. Millions of people do not have access to clean drinking water, and this new Haitian disaster is a stark reminder of the consequences.
A few organizations have proposed answers that address these critical needs. In many rural communities, the burden of hauling clean water across great distances for the good of the community mainly falls on women and children. To this end, Kopernik, an organization that searches for the most progressive technologies and provides them to poor people in developing companies, has released the Q-Drum.
The Q-Drum is a durable cylinder shaped plastic container that holds 50 liters of water. It is extremely durable and allows anyone to pull 50 liters of clear water across great distances with relative ease. It also makes storing the water at its destination easy.
Another beneficial product that is being distributed in Haiti is the LifeStraw. A product of Vestergaard Frandsen, the LifeStraw addresses the most critical issue in Haiti, and in fighting cholera; having clean drinkable water at point of consumption. LifeStraws cost relatively little to produce (roughly $3 US) and filter water right as needed. Distribution programs also exist to many of the poorest areas in Africa, in hopes of addressing the 6,000 or so deaths everyday, mainly of children, due to unsafe drinking water conditions.
Programs such as these are critical not only in time of emergency, but in developing countries all over the world.
To support either of these solutions, you can donate at the links below.
Aquamanzi International Water Project distributing the Q-Drum
Vestergaard Frandsen distributing the LifeStraw:
Global Whisperer is not affiliated with either of these organizations.
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