Five steps against cholera in Haiti

Two children receive oral rehydration treatment for cholera at La Piste camp. Credit: Amanda George/British Red Cross.
Two children receive oral rehydration treatment for cholera at La Piste camp. Credit: Amanda George/British Red Cross. Creative commons Flickr image.

Paul Farmer and colleagues published a plea for urgency and cooperation in Lancet. It involves five steps:

  1. identify and treat all those with symptomatic cholera
  2. make cholera vaccines available through a concerted effort
  3. address water insecurity to promote prevention
  4. strengthen Haiti’s public health system.
  5. raise the goals for health in Haiti and deliver the means to achieve them.

These five goals move from the more micro and immediate to encompassing local, regional and global structural issues. Yet, the micro will be difficult if not impossible to achieve in any meaningful way without change at the macro levels.

As the authors state: “…the goods that are needed to respond effectively to the epidemic seem to be caught in customs” both literally and metaphorically.

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