I just caught up with Imogen Wall, the Head of Communications for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, who is in Haiti. We discus the current state of the Cholera epidemic and response, the root causes of this outbreak, and how to prevent these kinds of diseases over the long term.
“Containing this outbreak is our number one priority at the moment,” she says. Have a listen.
UDPATE: According to the most recent OCHA figures, the Haiti Ministry of Health reports a total of 284 deaths and 3,769 cases confirmed. It does seem, though, that efforts to spread the message about treatment and prevention are having a positive effect. The Red Cross and International Organization for Migration say they have reached and estimated 880,000 people from the West and Artibonite departments with SMS text and voice messages on cholera prevention, treatment and hygiene.
It seems that, so far, the epidemic is being contained. Check out this NPR report, At Cholera Epicenter, Chaos, But Signs of Control, for details.