Waterborne Disease Hits Close to Home

The past couple of weeks have been a new kind of learning experience for Sasha and myself, as we, along with several other people in our neighborhood, came down with Typhoid Fever. Although it hasn’t been a fun or easy experience, Sasha and I count ourselves incredibly lucky and grateful to have access to medical facilities and treatment, and most especially to have a safe and comfortable place to convalesce and to call home. We are ever more aware of the precariousness of life for most people in Haiti, who often do not have access to any form of health care, and all too often do not have a home.

Additionally, this experience highlights the incredible importance of safe sanitation, proper hygiene, and access to clean water. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many latrines overflowed and seeped into wells and other water sources, greatly increasing the risk of Typhoid and numerous other waterborne diseases, particularly cholera. To date there have been over 9000 new cases of cholera documented since Hurricane Sandy. Without established sanitation infrastructure or safe waste treatment and removal methods, these watery conditions quickly become extremely dangerous. In a country where cholera has already claimed thousands of lives, it is sobering to consider how much work is still to be done. Sasha and I are now on the mend, and more committed than ever to continue providing safe, environmentally conscious sanitation services to people throughout Haiti. We dream of a day when everyone in Haiti has access to a home, safe sanitation, and clean water.

2 Replies to "Waterborne Disease Hits Close to Home"

  • Catherine Ellenbogen
    December 12, 2012 (9:02 pm)

    Molly and Sasha!

    So sorry to hear about your recent “tango” with typhoid!!! Did you recover in the US or Haiti? I am going to be in Haiti next week as we prepare for our Christmas fete in Cabaret on the 21st. It has grown from a small neighborhood ” meet and greet” to a full fledge ” county fair ” event. Current attendance is expected to top 1000 !! Our focus is now on how best to exploit this captured audience to advance our message of self help e areas of health and safety.

    I sent you an e-mail awhile ago about possibly participating in the festival with a booth showing your new residential toilet. Now I understand why I didn’t hear back from you!!! If there is any way we can still have SOIL represented we would love it… But I understand that you are probably just getting you sea legs back…

    In any case, this trip I have our 18 year Los son helping us out and we will be staying in P-au-P .We will be spending our days in Cabaret but will be back in town in the evenings. We’d love to have dinner with you on Wed,Thurs, or Fri. Night. We’re staying at a friends Inn about 25 minutes from your place…. Last minute I know but if it works — great!

    Please take care, give yourselves plenty of time to recover…
    Best! Cathy ellenbogen

  • hector black
    December 13, 2012 (8:08 pm)

    Hello! I’m so glad to hear that you are recovering. I wish I could help more. You are doing such great work there.
    love from tennessee, Hector

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