Did you know that cholera has made a resurgence in Haiti and has risen dramatically this year? Haiti was declared “cholera free” in February 2022. But by February 2023 Haiti had almost 2,500 confirmed cases. And sadly, young children are most susceptible to this dangerous bacterial infection.
Historically, 64% of people in rural Haiti regularly drink contaminated water. In addition, 37% of Haitian mothers often use unclean and unsafe water to prepare baby formula.
Because of the lack of access to basic water, hygiene and sanitation services, cholera has risen dramatically over the course of 2023.
Thankfully, cholera is easy to prevent with basic sanitation, education and access to clean water!
How to Prevent Cholera
The Centers for Disease Control lists five essential steps to prevent cholera. As a result, these are five steps that Bright Hope has been working hard to address in Haiti. In fact, we work to teach these truths in all the communities where we work.
- Drink clean, safe water. This seems like a no-brainer! But in Haiti, rural communities where poverty reigns, clean water is hard to find. That’s why Bright Hope has teamed up with our partner churches to build a reverse osmosis water purification system and provide clean drinking water for several communities.
- Wash your hands with soap and clean water. We have also worked with our partner churches to create a WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) training program that teaches the importance of good hygiene to prevent waterborne diseases. Learn how we taught one community in Haiti to build tippy taps to prevent disease.
- Use toilets. Most of communities we work with, in Haiti and around the world, have a desperate need for sanitary ways to dispose of waste. Often, community members just need training and simple supplies to dig pit latrines.
- Only eat boiled, cooked and peeled food – especially fruit, vegetables and shellfish.
- Clean thoroughly. From food preparation areas to bathrooms, these dirty areas must be disinfected completely to kill the bacteria that causes cholera.
What Can You Do in Response to the Cholera Outbreak?
Truly, it feels overwhelming to think about the desperate needs of the extreme poor. And often we may wonder if our gifts and prayers can make a dent in the problem. But our loving Father cares deeply about the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of every human being on earth. And He has a special place in His heart for the extreme poor.
Lastly, you can join us in praying boldly that God would stop the cholera outbreak in Haiti. Please ask Him to protect the vulnerable and provide clean water sources. And remember to never underestimate the power of God’s answers to your prayers.