Cholera Prevention Consortium

The Problem: Cholera Outbreak in Haiti

Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by an infection in the intestine. In severe cases, it can cause intense vomiting and diarrhea, which lead to rapid loss of body floods, dehydration, and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours.

Polluted waterways are a common cause of cholera

Polluted Haitian waterway

This potentially fatal waterborne disease can easily be prevented and treated with proper sanitation and access to clean water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there must be significant breaches in the water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure used by groups of people in order for an outbreak to occur. These conditions are the norm in Haiti.

Before the devastating earthquake of 2010, cholera had not been documented in Haiti for decades. Since October 2010, there have been nearly 700,000 reported cases and over 8,000 deaths, with an estimated 1,000 more each year until water sanitation has improved.

Our Solution: Treating Cholera at the Source

International Action’s immediate response entailed tackling the problem at the source of the outbreak, the Artibonite département in northern Haiti. We first met with Haitian water department officials and partners to strategize a coordinated solution to the spreading epidemic. Our cholera treatment plan involves supplying and installing 50 chlorinators and eight water tanks throughout Artibonite and distributing chlorine tablets to organizations addressing the public health crisis.

Through this special cholera prevention initiative of our Campaign for Clean Water, International Action has already installed 15 chlorinators outside of Port-au-Prince – protecting 175,000 Haitians from cholera and other waterborne diseases. These chlorinators were installed on the biggest water reservoir in Artibonite and at various locations in that region, as well as in the areas of Mirebalais, Petit-Goâve, Arcahaie, Jacmel, and Cabaret. We have also supplied 900 chlorine tablets to the Haitian water agency and our NGO (non-governmental organization) partners.

Chlorinators and chlorine tablets are readily available in Haiti to any organization operating in cholera-affected areas. Learn more about requesting materials from International Action.