Can Cholera in Haiti be Controlled?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sick victims and families wait for treatment at St. Nicolas Hospital in St. Marc, north of Port-au-Prince. (Thony Belizaire/Getty)

As Haiti fights a cholera outbreak in its river valley region, all eyes turn to Port-au-Prince where over a million displaced people still live in cramped, unsanitary tent cities. 

We talk with Ian Rawson, managing director of Hopital Albert Schweitzer in Deschapelles, Haiti, and Dr. Joia Mukherjee, chief medical officer of Partners in Health, about what they're seeing and what could happen if cholera reaches the camps.


Dr. Joia Mukherjee and Ian Rawson

Comments [1]

Clifton Middleton from Homestead, FL

Haitian EcoNomics, a Practical Solution

There are two time proven, green technologies that could provide Haiti with a sustainable economic and agricultural base, one, separating toilets and two, industrial hemp. Here is how they work.
First of all, separating toilets, separating toilets collect urine and feces in separate places. The urine is 18 percent nitrogen and can replace imported fertilizer. Separating toilets do not use and pollute the water supply and are being utilized all over the world to ensure sanitation, protect the environment and collect the most essential of agricultural resources, Nitrogen. How much Nitrogen, enough Nitrogen to produce all the food and biomass fuel necessary for a sustainable society, Here is the math, 125 gallons of urine per year, per person, 50 pounds of nitrogen per person. One million participants could yield 50 million pounds of organic, renewable fertilizer and provide the key to greatly increased food and biomass production.

Secondly, Industrial Hemp, we take the nitrogen and grow industrial hemp on a massive scale. Hemp’s complex root system will help restore the denuded Haitian ecology and hills while producing the raw material for an entire industry. Hemp production, processing and manufacturing will provide full employment for millions of Haitians. Hemp can be made into fuel, fiber, building material, food, medicine and over 25,000 other products used by modern civilization. It is possible to plant enough Industrial Hemp in Haiti to provide the foundation for a sustainable and prosperous economy, providing, fuel, food, fiber and thousands of green, permanent jobs.

Haiti needs to completely rebuild their sanitation system, they need fertilizer for agriculture, they need to create an economy based on production and can accomplish all of this with simple technology. This plan is doable, deployable and decentralized. The Haitian people and nation could become the example of how to establish and maintain a sustainable, independent civilization.

Oct. 26 2010 08:57 AM

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