Water Credits™ (liters of clean water) funded by Coffee for Water: 34,449,000

Cholera in Haiti

Haiti continues to fight against a cholera outbreak that first appeared last year, despite expectations that the disease was under control and would soon subside. Cholera is contracted by consuming water that is contaminated and unfiltered. According to the World Health Organization, in Port-Au-Prince--Haiti's capital and one of the hardest hit areas by last year's earthquake--there have been over 18,000 new cases of cholera since last month. Some people are worried that things may get worse before they get better.

AlJazeera recently reported on the cholerea outbreak in Haiti, providing some upsetting information on how the disease has already affected the country, and what impact it could have in the near future. As many as 400,000 people in Haiti have been infected with cholera since it reached the country last year, and more than 5,000 of these infections have been fatal. In the report Sanjay Basu, an epidemiologist from the University of California, offers a grim prediction that over the next year the number of people in Haiti who are directly affected by cholera could rise to 800,000, with as many as 11,000 of these infections being fatal. To put this total in perspective, Sanjay goes on to say that "This is in a population of 10 million people, so you're talking about almost 1 in 10 people being directly affected by cholera".

This impact is greater than what UN agencies and other non-governmental organizations had prepared for, prompting fears that the resources needed to face a problem of this magnitude may be lacking. Last Fall the UN predicted that a total of 400,000 people would most likely be impacted by cholera, but, According to Sanjay, this prediction is incorrect because it is based on incorrect assumptions, such as the degree of immunity the Haitian population has to the disease.

While our impact has been moderate so far, we intend to continue our efforts in Haiti and help provide systems that will prevent the infection from spreading. Coffee for Water has funded five water purification projects in Haiti already, and continues to fund more with every bag of coffee we sell.

Information sourced from: Report by Rob Reynolds from AlJazeera and BBC News

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