Haiti is facing another massive cholera outbreak just one week after Hurricane Matthew devastated the country. After the tragic earthquake that occurred in 2010, United Nations peacekeeping forces accidentally brought cholera to Haiti. As a result, hundreds of thousands of people became ill and more than 9,000 died.

Prior to Hurricane Matthew, cholera had already been the cause of 240 deaths in Haiti this year alone. The country never fully recovered from the initial outbreak in 2010. Now, over 1,000 people have been reported dead because of the most recent outbreak.

Cholera is often described as a disease that can be easily treated. The disease is contracted by consumption of food or water that has been contaminated with the fecal bacteria called Vibrio cholerae. Many cases only see mild symptoms but some see severe diarrhea and vomiting, which can lead to extreme dehydration without proper treatment. Ideal treatment for cholera involves constant hydration, especially if it is done intravenously.

Haiti is suffering from a severe lack of food, water, medicine and shelter. Starvation is already becoming a major concern for the country. UN World Food Program Officer for Haiti Lorene Didier said that 90 percent of crops have been destroyed in the worst-hit areas. Cholera is yet another area of concern due to lack of resources.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke to reporters at UN Headquarters on Monday and said:

“Hundreds have died. At least 1.4 million people need assistance at this time. Some towns and villages have been almost wiped off the map. Crops and food reserves have been destroyed. At least 300 schools have been damaged.”

Ban Ki-moon also announced the launch of a $120 million appeal. The appeal will fund United Nations aid activities in Haiti to assist with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. In addition, the World Health Organization announced on Tuesday that it will send 1 million cholera vaccine doses to Haiti.

Hope for Haiti is one of the many charity organizations accepting donations in order to offer relief in the country’s great time of need. There are also many independent funds collecting aid for Haiti, such as CryWithHaiti.

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