The Issue of "Restavek" in Haiti
Did you know 2 out of every 10 children in Haiti are being Forced to Performed Domestic Work?
Cholera Bacterium in Haiti
Its Medical causes and Origin, Symptoms, Treatment, and ways to help those who are infected.
Haiti is a country that’s been going from one tragedy to another since its existence. A few years ago, a 7.0 earth quake magnitude had stroke the country, living more than 300,000 individual dead, an approximately of 1.5 million homeless, and some considerable property damages. Despite a lot of effort that has been made by both local authorities and the U.N. peace keeping force, things seem to be far from getting back to normal. In fact, instead of getting back to normal, things seem to be deteriorating. The Haitian population is now dealing with another painful tragedy, a deadly infection known as cholera bacterium.
This infection has already killed more than 10,000 people across the country, while there are 100 of thousands in hospitals. This is a nonlife threatening disease, but yet, it has killed that many people because of poor sanitary condition.
Causes and Origin
Although nobody knows for sure the origin of this disease in Haiti, but we know for a fact that cholera is a bacterial disease that usually spread through unclean or contaminated water by human feces is the main cause of cholera bacterium. Other sources can be but not limited to contaminated food, uncooked fruit and vegetable, undercooked shellfish, type O blood, and poor sanitary condition. The bad thing about cholera disease is that someone can be exposed to the bacteria and gets infected, and infect other people with the disease, but he/she never becomes ill himself/herself. It’s like carrying the disease but never physically appear to be affected by it.
Cholera by nature is not a deadly disease. However, if left untreated, it can become fatal or a life threatening situation in a matter of hours because of severe dehydration. What happens is that the potent toxin produced by the bacteria in the small intestine known as CTX, binds to the intestine wall, so it can interfere with the normal flow of sodium and chlorine in the body. As a result, the body, secretes enormous amount of water, which leads to diarrhea and a rapid loss of fluid and salts.
Some of the signs of someone being infected by cholera bacterium are but not limited to: diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, severe dehydration, muscle cramp, shock, rapid heart rate, loss of skin elasticity (the ability to return to original position quickly if pinched), dry mucous membranes, including the inside of the mouth, throat, nose, and eyelids, low blood pressure, etc. The signs of these symptoms on a person having the disease can take anywhere from hours to days.
Treating Cholera Bacterium Infection
Cholera Bacterium treatment is very cost effective and can easily be treated if proper steps or actions are taken in a timely manner. But, yet it has killed more than 10,000 people in Haiti in a short period of time, while hundreds of thousands are in hospital beds, wondering if they going to survive the disease or not. One of the technique in treating cholera is using inexpensive rehydration solution. In fact, research shows that most people who die from cholera bacterium disease is due to severe dehydration. This means, if severe dehydration can be avoided from a person who has the disease, a life can be saved. As explained before, rehydration is very essential in treating cholera bacterium disease. However, antibiotics as well as zinc supplements can be effective in treating cholera.
Can Cholera Bacterium Infection be prevented?
The answer is yes! Preventing cholera bacterium is very easy as 1, 2, 3, and the steps to follow are easier due to the fact that they are very basic. Other than taking the cholera vaccine, other steps people should follow are: first, one must always wash his/her hand frequently, especially after using the toilet; this means, soap and water play an important role in preventing that disease. Brice Foundation Int’l has distributed thousands of bar and liquid soaps, alcohol, sanitizers, etc. to those who have not been affected by the disease. For those who have already been affected by the disease, we are working on bringing doctors and experts from overseas every six months to treat them free of charge.
The second step is to drink only clean and safe water, such as sealed bottle of water or boiled water even to brush one teeth. It is clear that the Haitian population need more access to clean water. With that says, we’re now studying various ways to bring clean and sanitized water, especially in the areas where the disease has seriously affected. The third step is; eat foods that are completely cooked and hot. The fourth one is to avoid sushi, raw, or seafood of all kind, if improperly cooked. Fifth, eat more fruits and vegetable, but only those you can peel yourself, such as bananas, avocados, oranges, mangos, grape fruit, etc. sixth one is to stay away from dairy foods, such as ice cream, milk shakes of all kind, due to the fact that sometimes they are contaminated because of unpasteurized milk.
How to help those who’ve been infected
Poor sanitary condition and not having access to clean water are some of the biggest issues the Haitian population is dealing with. We have been helping in every way we can to help those infected by the disease , by delivering hygiene kits to them, clean water, uncontaminated food, access to doctors, etc. to them. If you wish to help those infected by Cholera bacterium disease, here are a few things you can do: you can send mail all kind of hygiene supplies, such as soaps, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant, hand sanitizer, alcohol, etc. to us at: 1335 Kingsley Avenue, Orange Park, Florida 32067. Other ways you can help are to become volunteer or donate money to buy the hygiene items needed.