More than two years and nearly 7,800 deaths after U.N. troops brought the dread disease of cholera to Haiti, a plan has finally been put forward to do something to get rid of it. While we are still a long way from implementation, there are important lessons to be learned from this experience.
Just hours after the devastating earthquake of 2010, the Haitian people began to sing. That first night in January was an apocalyptic scene; homes and businesses flattened, mothers searching frantically for children.
If more Americans could get unplugged from the myths which have been used historically to engineer public acquiescence in U.S. foreign policy, how much could that help us reform U.S. foreign policy in the future?
There is one disaster that was brought to Haiti directly by people, and not by nature. It was not caused by shifting tectonic plates or extreme weather (or climate change). That disaster is the cholera epidemic that struck Haiti two years ago.
The loss of funding means that in months, thousands of patients -- people we have the tools, skills, and expertise to save -- will become sick, and hundreds more may needlessly die. This wouldn't be accepted in a wealthy country. And we're not willing to accept it in Haiti.
My vision for a just world is one that the UN itself has inspired, and one that I believe the UN ultimately shares. But to reclaim its position as a credible force for human rights, the UN must first allow accountability to be a part of the conversation about ending cholera in Haiti.
To Rudy Laurent and his family, cholera seemed to be everywhere. Now, Laurent has a little bit of armor. In his wallet he carries a vaccination card; in his blood he carries two antigens (cell parts that spur our immune system to build antibodies) made in Hyderabad, India.
How exactly you tip the scales is an extremely complicated matter. In the fields and rice paddies when people need to use the bathroom, they just go. By the river, when people are thirsty in this heat that makes your breath draw like gel, they just have a drink.
The devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in January 2010 will be forever remembered as one of the darkest moments in the country's history. As Haitians continue to recover, however, another force continues to take a sever human toll on Haitians.
Built for 200 inmates, the prison currently houses over a thousand, mostly men, although there are also separate compounds for minors and women. It received just 1,000 liters of piped water a day, barely a liter per person for drinking, cooking and washing.
I have spent the last two years in Haiti, and the sound of rain is forever changed. Where the sound of rain once brought comfort, it now brings worry that comes with my intimate knowledge of what rain means these days in Haiti.
On Monday, the United Nations Security Council began a four-day mission in Haiti to evaluate their peacekeeping and reconstruction efforts. Part of their trip will include a visit to a treatment center for victims of cholera. A visit is a good start, but not enough.