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Health Education

Michael D. McDonald's picture


The mission of the Health Education Working Group is to introduce and maintain health education systems in Haiti to reduce incidence of disease and promote health.

Working Group email address:

GHESKIO Opens New Tuberculosis Hospital in Haiti

A ribbon-cutting ceremony on March 23 commemorates the opening of GHESKIO's new tuberculosis hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. - March 27, 2015

In a major advance in the fight against drug-resistant tuberculosis, the Haitian Study Group on Opportunistic Infections and Kaposi's Sarcoma, or GHESKIO, has opened a state-of-the-art hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, to treat patients suffering from the disease.

The hospital's opening comes five years after a catastrophic earthquake crippled Haiti's infrastructure and destroyed the five major TB hospitals in the capital city, including the one run by GHESKIO. GHESKIO is a nongovernmental service, research and training center that operates in partnership with Weill Cornell Medical College and the Haitian Ministry of Health. It provides integrated primary care services, including HIV counseling, AIDS care, prenatal care and management of TB, cholera and other infectious diseases, as well as global health and educational services to more than 500,00 of the poorest Haitians. Since its inception in 1982, GHESKIO has become one of the largest AIDS and TB treatment centers in the Americas.

WHO - World Health Statistics 2013

World Health Statistics 2013 contains WHO’s annual compilation of health-related data for its 194 Member States, and includes a summary of the progress made towards achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and associated targets.

This year, it also includes highlight summaries on the topics of reducing the gaps between the world’s most-advantaged and least-advantaged countries, and on current trends in official development assistance (ODA) for health.

For additional information, see link below:

World Health Statistics 2013 - (Full Report - 172 page .PDF report)

ASTMH 61st Annual Meeting - Session: 145

submitted by Henry Frank Carey

Combating urgent infectious disease problems in poor countries often entails a range of interventions, from disease detection, diagnosis, and treatment to other measures, such as environmental measures or vaccines. The mix of interventions chosen may depend on the local feasibility and effectiveness of the interventions, as well as on resources available. This symposium will use cholera as an example of balancing these various issues, using examples from two countries, as well as plans for future emergency situations.


ASTMH 61st Annual Meeting - Session: Poster Session B Presentations and Light Lunch

submitted by Henry Frank Carey

An evaluation of Catholic Relief Service’s (CRS) post-earthquake cholera education programming in Haiti was conducted in June 2011 to evaluate the efficacy of their social marketing efforts for cholera prevention. A Knowledge, Attitude, and Practice (KAP) survey implemented throughout Haiti provided cholera incidence data as well as social and behavioral data that indicate sources of disease transmission and water contamination. Evaluation results indicate that there remain gaps in practices such as hand washing and open defecation.


Haiti Takes on Dreaded Disease Elephantiasis One Mouth at a Time

submitted by Ted Kaplan


“Mass drug administration” is easy if your target is elementary school students. It’s harder when you want to reach nearly everyone else in a country of 10 million people.

That is the goal Haiti set this year in its campaign against a parasitic infection called lymphatic filariasis that is present in 80 percent of the country.


Flashcards - The Story of Cholera - Downloads


OCHA Haiti - Humanitarian Bulletin (July 2012)


Cholera Response

There is great concern about a possible upsurge in cholera due to contamination of water sources during heavy rains in enclaved areas.  MSPP expects an upsurge in new cholera cases with the onset of the second half of the rainy and cyclone seasons, which run from September to November.

Although Haiti experienced a general decline in new cholera cases during July, several alerts were reported in the West, South and Artibonite Departments. The commune of Carrefour in the West department was particularly affected, with up to 100 cases reported on average during a three-day period in the second week of July. The upsurge in infections was attributable to contamination of water sources in the area. There is a felt need for renewed sensitization on good sanitation practices in those communities where access to potable water remains a challenge.

2012-2013 Bio Med Course in Haiti

submitted by Andrew MacCalla

There is going to be a bio-medical technician training course taking place in the fall in Pignon. There will be 4 separate sessions and students are required to attend all 4 of them. While you will be responsible for the travel to Pignon for your participants, the Rotarians are paying for food and lodging and course fees. This is the second course that is being held in Haiti.

You can read more about it in the attached documents and respond directly to the task force email below with a filled out application if you are interested in participating. I’m just trying to spread the word on behalf of the instructor.

The deadline for the application is August 10th, not July 15th as the document states.


Houston Haiti Recovery Initiative (HHRI)

HHRI is an early-stage group of interested community members and Texas Medical Center(TMC) professionals, organizations and institutions who want to contribute to Haiti’s ongoing recovery. HHRI and Haiti’s Medical Society President, Dr. Claude Surena, are working together to create a common healthcare vision with common goals in at least some common spaces for the different healthcare partners in Houston and beyond.

Our initial focus is on healthcare related initiatives that would bring the resources of the TMC and the Houston community together to support and advance the National Reconstruction Plan for Haiti. This initiative will be in cooperation and coordination with the Minister of Health(MOH) and the Government of Haiti(GOH).

HHRI is a 501(c) 3 formed after the 2010 earthquake to help coordinate local assets toward Haitian relief.  It has long term goals to find a specific Haitian center to support and develop for upgrading the medical care for the Haitian population.  It has focused initially on two areas, medical teams and biomedical repair and training.  The latter is spearheaded by a group of Rotarians.   The medical teams are organized by physicians and non-physicians with a large cumulative experience in Haiti and in mission work.

(GRAHN) - "Haiti-Santé 2012" - October 1 - 6 ("Haiti-Health 2012")

submitted by Stuart Leiderman


Lancement de Haïti-Santé’ 2012


Port-au-Prince, Haïti

Le Groupe de Réflexion et d'Action pour une Haïti Nouvelle (GRAHN), la Croix-Rouge Canadienne (CRC) et la Croix-Rouge Haïtienne (CRH) se sont mis ensemble pour organiser, avec le Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population (MSPP), l'évènement Haiti-Sante'2012 qui se déroulera en Haïti du 1er au 6 octobre 2012.

Après le lancement de cet événement qui a eu lieu à Montréal le jeudi 14 juin dernier, c’est au tour d’Haïti de procéder au lancement de ce grand évènement, le jeudi 26 juillet de 10h à 11h, à la salle de conférence du Ministère de la santé publique et de la population (MSPP) sis à la rue Saint-Honoré, à Port-au-Prince.



Latrines with Walls: Preventing Cholera in Haiti


Health workers collaborate with rural communities to stop the spread of cholera by changing how people interact with water. It is no easy task. Image by Meghan Dhaliwal. Haiti, 2012. - by Jason Hayes - July 26, 2012


. . . "Almost two years after cholera erupted in Haiti, how do we stop people from getting sick?" . . .

. . . "In order to stop cholera, a water-borne illness, you need to change the ways people interact with water." . . .

. . . "70 percent of people infected by cholera can cause others to get sick, but they do not show symptoms." . . .

. . . "Many latrines sit unused, without walls and in plain sight (no one wants to use a latrine in plain sight)" . . .

. . . "It is a question of whether paying for the latrine wall is more important than paying for food, a child’s education, or other necessities.". . .


GIDEON - Infectious Diseases of Haiti


Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network (GIDEON)

When the humanitarian disaster in Haiti began to unfold, we accelerated development of a comprehensive book on the diseases of that country. This will be one in a series of ebooks which present the status of all infectious diseases…in all individual countries. This ebook, Infectious Diseases of Haiti, 2010 edition, will be offered free of charge to all health professionals concerned with the current disaster.

New Partner Organizations Back Water and Sanitation Investments to Eliminate Cholera from Hispaniola                                    (CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT)

Washington, D.C., 29 June 2012 (PAHO/WHO) – Representatives of international and civil society organizations today agreed to promote major investments in water and sanitation infrastructure in Haiti and the Dominican Republic as the long-term solution to the cholera epidemic in those countries.

Red Cross Now Supporting the Need for Phase II Cholera Epidemic Management Initiative

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
The Looming Threat - Advocacy Report on Cholera - June 2012

19 June 2012, Port-au-Prince - “There is a significant probability of a major cholera emergency in Haiti in the coming months but resources have been severely diminished”, urges the advocacy report launched today by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent in Haiti.

An increase in cholera cases has been reported in the Artibonite, Nord-Ouest, Nord-Est, and Ouest Departments, in the island of Gonave, as well as in displaced camps in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area and surrounding communities. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) estimates that new cases diagnosed by the end of 2012 could reach 170,000.

Video - Laurent Lamothe Meets the American Red Cross to Engage Pledged Moneys in Benefiting the Haitian People Now

See video

"There are two objectives for meeting the Red Cross.  The first objective is to thank the Red Cross for all the efforts deployed in Haiti during the earthquake.  The second objective is that the Red Cross collected more than 1.13 billion dollars for Haiti and there are still several hundred million left.  So we came here with our team to discuss our priorities and where we would like the Red Cross to allocate these funds that they have for Haiti according to the priorities of the Haitian government and the Haitian people.  We came to talk to them, work alongside with them according to the priorities of the Haitian people."

youtube - June 13, 2012

Rise in Cholera Cases in Haiti

AlertNet - - Plan U.K. - June 13, 2012


Children’s charity Plan International is scaling up its work in Haiti as fears grow over an outbreak of deadly cholera following an increase in reported cases.

Aid workers for Plan have launched an awareness campaign in schools and local communities in effort to prevent an outbreak.

Young volunteers and teachers are being trained in hygiene and sanitation alongside the distribution of cholera prevention and hygiene kits.

Plan is also working to facilitate Cholera Treatment Units.

Plan workers are reporting the need for disinfectant, oral rehydration and water treatment materials, and access to potable water and sanitation kits.


Plan U.K. -

Cholera Response - OCHA - Humanitarian Bulletin - June 1, 2012


Excerpt from OCHA - Humanitarian Bulletin - June 1, 2012 (pages 2-3, of 6 page .PDF file)

Multiplication of cholera alerts

Four of the 10 departments - Artibonite, Nord-Est, Nord-Ouest and Ouest - have reported cholera alerts in May. The island of Gonave, IDP camps in Martissant and Carrefour in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, as well as surrounding communities, also indicated an increase in new cases.

The Artibonite department is particularly affected because of its many cholera hotspots, including in remote areas, the lack of protection of water sources and poor hygiene practices. The Health Cluster indicates that 20 per cent of the cases and 17 per cent of the deaths nationwide come from the department. On the other hand, the number of partners has gradually decreased from 20 to 7 due to funding constraints.

Baby Treated at UI Hospitals Dies After Return to Haiti

Bedica Ermilus from St. Medard, Haiti Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 in Haiti. (Dr. Christopher Buresh)

The baby in these articles was brought to Iowa for corrective surgery.  Her surgery was on March 29, 2012.  Before returning the infant to Haiti, she was given "vaccinations", so it was thought she would stay healthy in Haiti.  Community health workers and her parents were trained to take care of her and were given a simple treatment system to purify her water.  She returned to Haiti on May 13, 2012 (Mother's Day).  She died of suspected cholera on May 17, 2012.

The articles do not say what date she received the vaccinations, nor what type of vaccinations she received.

Haiti: Reassuring Speeches About Cholera Don't Correspond to Reality - May 11, 2012

Via Haiti - Cholera : Reassuring speeches that do not correspond to reality. Excerpt, with bolding in the original:

The number of patients treated by MSF in the capital has quadrupled in less than a month . . .

One can also note that the fatality rate is rising: it was 2.23 per 100 cases in 2010, it is more than 3 this year said Thierry Goffeau, head of mission of MSF France in Haiti.

In many areas, health facilities of the Ministry of Health and Population (MSPP) are unable to meet seasonal fluctuations of the epidemic. For Gaëtan Drossart, MSF Head of Mission: "Too little has been done in the field of water and sanitation to believe that it will not start in 2012.  It is worrying that the authorities are not better prepared and keep reassuring speeches that do not correspond to reality. There are many meetings between the government, the UN and its humanitarian partners, but few concrete solutions."

Granville-Based Group Faces Cholera Challenge in Haiti


Tracee Laing, of Healing Art Missions, speaks with a patient during a house visit near Dumay, Haiti. / photo - Global eyes media - by Abbey Roy / Granville Sentinel - May 10, 2012

The first few cases of cholera began appearing at Healing Art Missions' clinic in Dumay, about 15 miles east of Port-au-Prince, about a week after Tracee Laing and Paul Hammond arrived there for a regular visit.

On April 14, six days after they'd arrived, Laing and Hammond wrote on the Healing Art Missions blog: "We found the cholera clinic bursting at the seams with 27 patients, up from 13 yesterday. As we have feared, the start of the rainy season has caused a jump in cholera cases; however, we have never seen such a crush as there was today."


Healing Art Missions -

Michael D. McDonald's picture

Aldy Castor, MD: Ten Commandments for Working with Refugees

From:  Aldy Castor M.D. <> Haitian Resource Development Foundation <>
Subject: Ten Additional Commandments for Working with Haitian Earthquake Environmental Refugees and Victims of Cholera
Date: Oct 25, 2010 2:15 AM

For information contact:
Aldy Castor, M.D. 954.659.7953

October 24, 2010

Ten Additional Commandments for Working with
Haitian Earthquake Environmental Refugees and Victims of Cholera

Four days after the earthquake in January 12, HRDF published a dispatch in response to calls for help and guidance to medical and other relief teams.  The dispatch was titled: “Ten Commandments for Responding to Environmental Refugees,” recognizing that the earthquake victims were refugees from a natural disaster, they were fleeing danger and they needed refuge.  The dispatch also drew on the experience of HRDF in Haiti for almost thirty years, much of the time focusing on disaster preparedness, emergency medicine and community emergency response.  The dispatch is appended below.

In our opinion, the earthquake victims are still refugees and, worse, they are also vulnerable to the outbreak of cholera.  While people outside the camp are free to move around the country, most of the earthquake victims are not free to move.  Their ability to protect themselves is very limited; therefore others have to do it for them.

The following “Ten Additional Commandments” may afford the refugees some protection.  They roughly fall into three categories:  a) the public, including the refugees, b) the health and safety workers from Haiti and from all over the world and c) the government.


1. No bare feet anywhere in the country.  Therefore, this requires the wearing of protective, washable shoes or sandals at all times and by all ages: children, youths and adults.

2. Constant hand-washing with soap and clean water, especially when handling food, before eating, after using the toilet, before and after changing diapers, before collecting and distributing water, before going to sleep at night and immediately after waking-up in the morning, and before and after attending to sick people.

3. Complete body wash daily, using soap, clean water and a clean, dry towel.


4.  Replacement of pit toilets with composting toilets having containers that can be removed and sealed for composting in isolated sites.  This must be accompanied by adequate supplies of toilet paper, and nearby faucets for washing hands with soap and clean water immediately after use.

5. Because of the increased and required washing, efficient and safe removal and decontamination of wastewater must be provided.

6. Random, representative tests among the population and relief workers on a regular basis.

7. Strict adherence to hygiene and safety protocols when attending to the needs of the population, whether the healthy, the ill or the suspected ill.

8. Sanitation firebreaks around and inside communities, especially refugee camps, with constant attention to disinfecting the environment and the isolation and disposal of wastes of all kinds.


9. Thorough protective control of land and people by a) containment or quarantine of infected and/or suspected communities, landscape and bodies of water and b) exclusion of threats to uninfected communities, landscape and bodies of water.

10.  Constant and comprehensive monitoring and public reporting of the quality of the environment and the health of the people, not limited to trouble spots. 

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