Why Haiti Can't Handle It's Multiple "Crises"
What has to be understood is that this phenomena is the product of social underdevelopment that was imposed by North America, through its numerous destructive interventions in Haiti's affair and government, to maintain profits from the population of Haiti for corporate multi-national organizations.
[Haiti's Crises: Comment]
Right now Haiti is facing another hard place between “history” and “time” that lies between moving ahead with mass desires of democracy and the November 28th election and the crisis of cholera.
As we look at the crisis of cholera that has attackrf Haiti in the last few weeks, we must put this into the proper perspective of the spreading of this deadly disease. Haiti's inability to deal with many of its social woes is not accidental.
The contradiction of this disease is not natural but the outgrowth of a social/political contradiction that has been imposed on Haiti-- not the outgrowth of "squalor" given by nature and under-development.
What has to be understood is that this phenomena is the product of social underdevelopment that was imposed by North America, through its numerous destructive interventions in Haiti's affair and government, to maintain profits from the
population of Haiti for corporate multi-national organizations.
At this point, there has been the death of at least 150 deaths from the cholera outbreak in the early weeks of October, in rural areas north of Port-au-Prince. It has been noted that this has been the most terrible outbreak of the disease since Haiti had been hit by the January earthquake this year, which left 1.5 million people homeless and killed over 250,000 people.
What has to be noted is that the spread of this disease can turn very quickly into an epidemic. For cholera is actually a bacterial infection that spreads through contact with contaminated water. Symptoms are harsh and serious diarrhea;
the victim can die from severe throwing up and thus leading to dehydration within a few hours. Cholera is a disease that is commonly associated with extreme poverty. This disease can be easily tackled by rehydrating the victim by serum
of salt and sugar until the victim becomes rehydrated over a few hours.
The disease can spread exponentially through contact with feces of infected people. At this time there is huge concern that that in a few weeks the cholera could become a full-blown epidemic if it reaches the refugee tent cities around Port-au-Prince where there is more than a million people living in extreme poverty and squalor with almost no access to sanitation and clean water.
Gabriel Thimothe the director of the Health Ministry was the one to confirm that the illness was cholera. He said the worst areas impacted were Douin, Marched Dessalines and Saint-Marc; these are all in the Artibonite Valley, which is about 50 miles north of Port-au-prince. He told reporters that local hospitals were “overwhelmed” and that children and the elderly were the most affected.
At this point in Saint-Marc medical workers at Saint Nicholas hospital are facing hundreds of dehydrated patients laid out on blankets in the parking lot with IVs in their arms, waiting for additional care and treatment. AFP, the French news agency quoted Dr. Jean-Robert Pierre-Louis saying: “We facing an outbreak of diarrhea, which causes rapid death of patients of
all ages. This has to do with the quality of water in the affected communities.” An aid worker told CNN of "a great
fear among the people.”
The outbreak had started on that 19th that Tuesday in Artibonite River south of Gonaives and also in Rossiano. While the areas was not greatly damaged by the earthquake, thousands of people had come to the region and are living either in tents or with relatives, doubling-up. Now this tragedy comes right after heavy rain storms that spurred the banks of the Artibonite to overflow and flood the whole area.
There are a number of conflicting reports of how people contracted the disease. Some people had said that they had been drinking water out of the public canal. Others had said that they had been drinking straight from the Artibonite River itself and other had said that they had been drinking bottled water, which may have come from a contaminated source.
Despite Haiti’s grim and abject poverty, there has not been a cholera epidemic in a number of decades. But there had been repeated warning since the earthquake since January, which destroyed the country’s deficient and lacking infrastructure.
Robin Mahfood of Food for the Poor told Reuter that we "have been afraid of this since the earthquake.” While Claude Surena of the Haitian Medical Association said, “The concern is that it could go from one place to another place, and it could affect more people or move from one region to another one.”
President Rene Preval has said that his government will take steps to ensure that the disease does not spread further in the country. Some government officials that had called for a “sanitary cordon”—effectively a quarantine—around the Artibonite Valley.
This could lead to further political instability. How would Preval stop people from the region of where they were infected and as they more further west and south and stop them from going home to vote for the November 28th election.
And now there’s another crisis on the island of La Gonave the town of Crox-des-Bouquet where new cases of cholera has been reported on the 22th of October.
The Haitian Minister of Health, Alex Larsen, had announced the finding of the World Health Organization last Friday on the 22th that “the outbreak is of the 01 strain of cholera which is the most deadly and is responsible for most of the outbreaks around the world.”
What has to be noted is that the poor conditions of Haiti that was demonstrated by events of the heavy rains is simply the reflection of the economic imposition of underdevelopment. Haiti is kept as a tourist playground and a sweatshop of cheap goods.
For Haitians history is on their side; but not time.
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