Did you know that over the past 6 years over 10,000 people have died of cholera in Haiti? This may not sound like a shocking statistic, but before 2010, the tiny country had been free of the disease for more than a century. That was no mean feat for an impoverished nation where sewers are almost non-existent and the water supply is tenuous. It is also unsurprising that the outbreak began after the devastating earthquake that rocked the country.
Here’s the shocking part:
Studies have proven beyond a doubt that sewage leaking from a ruptured pipe at a United Nations base contaminated water used for drinking and cooking.
The first victims who died lived alongside the Meille River, near the United Nations Base that housed 454 peacekeepers from Nepal. A cholera outbreak was already racing through Nepal and evidence has shown that the peacekeepers brought it with them. Waste from the base regularly leaked into the Mille River, spreading the disease to those that lived along the river banks.
The outbreak spread. The death toll rose to 10,000 (though it has been suggested that this figure may be much lower than the actual deaths caused by the outbreak.) The New York Times quotes a study from Doctors Without Borders that suggests the actual death toll could be as much as three times higher than reported across the board and up to ten times higher in some areas. This is due to mortality statistics being supplied primarily by heath care providers, so statistics would only record those that died in the facility. Many impoverished Haitians probably never made it to the clinic.
Posted on August 22, 2016 by Boulderdash