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First Person: Saving lives and stopping the unfold of cholera in Haiti


The lethal however treatable illness has been spreading throughout the nation and based on the newest Government figures revealed on 16 November there have been some 8,100 individuals admitted to hospital and over 170 deaths.

Esterline Dumezil was educated by the Ministry of Public Health and Population and by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).

“I’ve been working within the commune of Cité Soleil in Port-au-Prince since 2014, so for eight years The state of affairs has deteriorated over time which implies life may be very tough for the individuals who dwell right here. They discuss to me about their well being issues, however additionally they fear concerning the financial and safety state of affairs. They are very fearful concerning the return of cholera.

My job is to stroll and lift consciousness within the neighborhood. I present numerous public health-related data and now that cholera has resurfaced, I am going from door to door visiting households at residence. I educate individuals on the significance of utilizing handled water for ingesting, cooking at residence, handwashing and different measures they will take to stop the illness from spreading additional.

Local individuals have many questions, additionally they need to inform me about their issues 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 combat the illness.

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

When I discover an individual affected by diarrhoea, irrespective of how extreme, I refer them to one among two hospitals locally which have been outfitted to obtain cholera sufferers; I do know they are going to be effectively taken care of.

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

Helping probably the most susceptible

We are nonetheless on the bottom, regardless of the issue of the present state of affairs within the nation. Community well being employees usually are not idle, we’re educated to assist probably the most susceptible individuals. It is an obligation, and it is a supply of delight for me to be a part of this effort.

Personally, I prefer to suppose that every particular person can contribute to bettering life in our communities. That’s why I made a decision to develop into a neighborhood well being employee, as a result of I take pleasure in serving to individuals and being a part of change. It’s additionally a very vital job which may save lives.

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

PAHO workers prepare neighborhood well being employees on cholera identification and prevention.

Meeting individuals and serving to them is what provides me most joyful on this job. I take pleasure in going to their homes and I really feel comfy within the neighbourhood, regardless of the insecurity attributable to gangs, as individuals know and belief me.

I’ve by no means regretted dedicating my life to this job. I take pleasure in going to fulfill individuals of their properties 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 neighborhood well being employees, who’re identified by the French acronym as ASCPs, play a central position within the Ministry of Health’s PAHO/WHO-supported Community Health Strategy. 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 similar to Cite Soleil. So far 300 have been educated and deployed on the bottom to conduct threat communications and neighborhood engagement actions.

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