Thursday, December 2, 2010

on cholera.

it's amazing how little i've seen on the tv about haiti lately. i guess considering the dominican news spends about half it's broadcast on haiti nowadays, i've grown accustomed to that. however. it's sad to me how little people real know about what's going on.

i get questions. tons of questions. irrelevant questions, mostly. all from good-hearted people wanting to know.

but it gets old. i do not live in haiti. and the dominican republic, although still healthy and un-earthquake affected, has its own problems that need resolution. while haiti is right next door, it doesn't consume me.

i have a heart for haitian people. i can defend myself in creole. i have haitian friends. i have travelled to haiti. but it is not my life.

most of these questions revolve around the cholera epidemic. so here's the deal, people.

1. it is unsure whether cholera has made its way into the dominican republic. some reports say yes, some say no. there are, however, no deaths from cholera in the DR at this time.

2. there is a cholera vaccine. many dominicans have it. most haitians do not.

3. the reason, i believe, that cholera has been so deadly in Haiti, is that the healthcare opportunities are few and far between. some haitians walk for days to get to a clinic. by the time they get there, the dehydration has already killed them. this is not the case in the DR. there are more places to get treated, and therefore less likelihood of death from cholera.

4. just because there are more opportunities, doesn't mean that people wouldn't die. there is an innate sense of distrust of the medical establishment and people try home remedies before anything else. this could cause problems. but.

5. the government is doing a full out prevention campaign - you know, wash your hands; keep flies off your food; bleach the dirt away; drink lots of water if you get the poops. go right to the hospital.

6. and three cheers for the government who is also posting the posters and campaigning in creole to the immigrant population.

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