The Caribbean country of Haiti was smashed with the powerful hurricane Matthew which flattened much of the country, destroying homes, downing trees and flooding what was left. The direct death toll has not been added up yet as rescue workers are having difficulty reaching some of the outlying areas.
The death toll is currently hovering around 900. The survivors have no shelter, no water, no food. The health care people have no supplies, not even bandages.
Now the people have been hit with cholera.
The country was previously cholera free but when UN workers that were carriers of the disease came to help after the 2010 earthquake, they brought it with them.
Cholera is a water borne disease caused by bacteria. It is spread by allowing fecal matter to enter the water supply. The flooding and mudslides have contaminated the water supplies. It can kill quickly by causing dysentery and dehydration. At last report 12 people were being treated for it. Without treatment, a healthy person can die within a day.
The country has yet to recover from the earthquake that happened six years ago. At least two hundred thousand were killed and thousands more succumbed to cholera.
Massive efforts to help the country recover have been stymied by Haiti’s politics. Little rebuilding has been done and billions in aid money have disappeared, leaving the ordinary people poorly off.
"We already didn't have enough food, now we have lost our crops," Junot Clerveau told Al Jazeera. "We have lost our trees that give us mangoes and coconuts. I don't know how we're going to deal with this." A Jazeera
The USA has stepped up its aid to the country, sending the USS Mesa Verde and 300 more military to augment the 250 personnel already there with nine helicopters. France has committed to send 60 aid workers and 32 tonnes of equipment including water purification units. Canada has sent its Disaster Assessment Team to “ensuring that a Canadian response to the hurricane is coordinated, evidence-based and tailored to the needs on the ground”. The initial pledge is for three million dollars.
Pleas have been sent out to help fund the Red Cross efforts in the daunting task of feeding and sheltering those made homeless.
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