First Person: Saving lives and preventing the spread of cholera in Haiti


The lethal however treatable illness has been spreading throughout the nation and in response to the most recent Authorities figures printed on 16 November there have been some 8,100 folks admitted to hospital and over 170 deaths.

Esterline Dumezil was skilled by the Ministry of Public Well being and Inhabitants and by the Pan American Well being Group (PAHO/WHO).

“I’ve been working within the commune of Cité Soleil in Port-au-Prince since 2014, so for eight years The scenario has deteriorated over time which implies life could be very troublesome for the individuals who stay right here. They speak to me about their well being considerations, however in addition they fear concerning the financial and safety scenario. They’re very fearful concerning the return of cholera.

My job is to stroll and lift consciousness within the neighborhood. I present a variety of public health-related info and now that cholera has resurfaced, I’m going from door to door visiting households at house. I educate folks on the significance of utilizing handled water for consuming, cooking at house, handwashing and different measures they will take to forestall the illness from spreading additional.

Native folks have many questions, in addition they wish to inform me about their considerations and issues. I present reassurance by reminding them that cholera isn’t a deadly illness and is treatable. If the essential guidelines of hygiene are noticed, then one can battle the illness.

Esterline Dumezil has been employed as a group well being employee in Cité Soleil since 2014.

After I discover an individual affected by diarrhoea, regardless of how extreme, I refer them to one in all two hospitals in the neighborhood which have been outfitted to obtain cholera sufferers; I do know they are going to be nicely taken care of.

It is rather essential for me to rely suspected circumstances in addition to observe the data that native folks share with me. I move on this info to my superiors on the Ministry of Well being, which helps our epidemiologists to higher perceive how individuals are affected by cholera, all around the nation.

Serving to essentially the most susceptible

We’re nonetheless on the bottom, regardless of the issue of the present scenario within the nation. Group well being staff aren’t idle, we’re skilled to assist essentially the most susceptible folks. It’s a responsibility, and it is a supply of satisfaction for me to be a part of this effort.

Personally, I wish to suppose that every individual can contribute to bettering life in our communities. That is why I made a decision to turn out to be a group well being employee, as a result of I get pleasure from serving to folks and being a part of change. It’s additionally a extremely essential job which may save lives.

PAHO staff train community health workers on cholera identification and prevention.

PAHO employees prepare group well being staff on cholera identification and prevention.

Assembly folks and serving to them is what offers me most blissful on this job. I get pleasure from going to their homes and I really feel snug within the neighbourhood, regardless of the insecurity attributable to gangs, as folks know and belief me.

I’ve by no means regretted dedicating my life to this job. I get pleasure from going to satisfy folks of their houses and that is when I’m happiest.”

The UN’s cholera response for Haiti:

  • A spread of UN businesses together with, IOM, UNAIDS, UNFPA, UNICEF and WFP in addition to the UN Humanitarian Air Service, UNHAS are additionally supporting the UN’s cholera response.
  • The group well being staff, who’re identified by the French acronym as ASCPs, play a central position within the Ministry of Well being’s PAHO/WHO-supported Group Well being Technique. With intimate data of and entry to the communities they serve, they’ve been on the forefront of an built-in response to cholera particularly in hard-to-access areas comparable to Cite Soleil. Thus far 300 have been skilled and deployed on the bottom to conduct threat communications and group engagement actions.

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