WBEZ | Cholera In Haiti http://www.wbez.org/tags/cholera-haiti Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Haiti’s earthquake recovery marred by forced evictions, cholera http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-21/haiti%E2%80%99s-earthquake-recovery-marred-forced-evictions-cholera-94237 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-21/haiti2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Although it's been two years since the earthquake and billions of dollars in aid have gone into the country, Haiti is still struggling. Many of those who were displaced in the earthquake still live in tent camps. And a public health disaster has further destabilized the country: half a million people have been sickened by cholera and 5,000 have died from the illness.</p><p>Attorney <a href="http://ijdh.org/who_we_are/staff_volunteers#nicole" target="_blank">Nicole Phillips</a> says the epidemic was triggered by United Nations workers who contracted cholera in Nepal, and then brought it to Haiti. An attorney with the <a href="http://ijdh.org/" target="_blank">Institute for Justice &amp; Democracy in Haiti</a> and <a href="http://www.usfca.edu/law/faculty/nicole_phillips/" target="_blank">assistant director</a> for Haiti Programs at the University of San Francisco School of Law, Nicole is part of a team of lawyers that’s suing the UN on behalf of the Haitian people. She tells us why she's taking action and also gives us insights into the recent uptick in forced – and sometimes violent – evictions from Haiti’s tent camps under President Michel Martelly.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>To watch a video of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's spokesperson, Martin Nesirky, addressing the cholera allegations with members of the press, click <a href="http://www.unmultimedia.org/tv/webcast/2011/11/daily-press-briefing-and-guest-catherine-bragg-ocha-on-her-recent-visit-to-central-america.html" target="_blank">here</a>. His comments begin at 15:55.</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 21 Nov 2011 16:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-21/haiti%E2%80%99s-earthquake-recovery-marred-forced-evictions-cholera-94237 Worldview 11.21.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-112111 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//episode/images/2011-november/2011-11-21/cholera1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Despite billions of dollars in private donations and government money, a staggering number of Haitians remain in tent camps. And a recent cholera epidemic – which has claimed 5,000 lives – has only made life worse. Nicole Phillips, an attorney with the <a href="http://ijdh.org/" target="_blank">Institute for Justice &amp; Democracy in Haiti</a>, explains why she and a group of lawyers are suing the United Nations for allegedly introducing cholera to the Haitian population. And, we talk with Mercedes Martinez, a union leader in Puerto Rico. In 2008, the Teachers Federation of Puerto Rico defied a no-strike ban and joined with students and parents to close schools for 10 days. The island-wide strike was over inadequate school funding, classroom size, low teacher wages, and the threat of privatization. When the strike ended, the governor decertified the union.&nbsp;We get on update on what’s happened since.</p></p> Mon, 21 Nov 2011 16:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-112111 Text messages, radio alert Haitians to cholera risks http://www.wbez.org/story/cholera-haiti/text-messages-radio-alert-haitians-cholera-risks <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//npr/images/29-10-2010/camp-pix-007_wide.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The cholera epidemic in Haiti is slowly spreading into new areas, mostly in the north of the country. The good news is that it doesn&rsquo;t seem to have taken hold in Port-au-Prince, the country&rsquo;s densely populated capital.</p><p>As they track the disease's progress around the country, public health officials have launched a two-pronged education campaign using radio broadcasts and text messages to keep the epidemic out of the camps.</p><p><strong>Education In The Camps</strong></p><p>The Cahamega camp sprawls along a city street while trucks and cars rocket by on one side and planes land and take off on the other. The camp itself is a maze of tents, each separated by only a few feet.</p><p>It's as if you're walking through a field of giant mushrooms -- a dirt lane serves as &quot;main street,&quot; and people who live there set up tables to sell food, whiskey and socks. A woman sits in a chair getting her hair done.</p><p>Farther along, a truck is pumping water into a huge bladder that serves as the camp's water supply. It&rsquo;s 20 feet square and six feet high.</p><p>Several radio producers who work for the International Organization for Migration, a group affiliated with the United Nations, are visiting the camp. They files into a tiny, makeshift theater with tarps thrown over scaffolding, and a dozen benches of rough planks.</p><p>A pack of curious kids crowds the benches and all eyes are on Jethro Sereme, a tall, good-looking student at a local university who stands in the front. The crowd is eager for something different from the humdrum of camp life.</p><p>Sereme grabs a microphone and starts talking about cholera. He works the crowd and is clearly enjoying the moment.</p><p>The migration organization works with the government's Ministry of Health to educate people about cholera. The appearance is being recorded and will be broadcast on 40 community radio stations. Since people in Haiti get most of their news from radio, it&rsquo;s one arm of the frantic campaign to keep the cholera epidemic that started to the north from coming here to these overcrowded camps.</p><p><strong>Tracking The Epidemic With Cell Phones</strong></p><p>Another effective communication method is the cell phone. Working with the country&rsquo;s biggest cell phone carrier, the migration organization is tracking cell phone owners who live in the northern epidemic areas -- people who may carry the disease without knowing it.</p><p>Leonard Doyle, the organization's communications director, is at the UN&rsquo;s logistics center and pulls up an image on his computer screen.</p><p>&quot;Here we see a map of Haiti showing, in particular, movements of people as tracked by their cell phones,&quot; Doyle says. &quot;When people move around in any country in the world, their cell phones are triangulated between cell phones towers. That means the cell company can track them.&quot;</p><p>Tracking them gives health authorities an idea where the epidemic might spread, and where to send medical teams.</p><p>&quot;You can not only tell how many people have left, but where they've gone to and when. And then the next step is contacting them,&quot; Doyle says. &quot;So if this was a typhoid outbreak, these are the Typhoid Marys. And we&rsquo;re trying to reach out to them in a digital fashion.&quot;</p><p>These people get a text message to call a number, where they&rsquo;ll hear about cholera prevention. They'll also get text messages on how to deal with the disease, should they become infected. Those messages are the jurisdiction of Sabina Carlson, one of the organization&rsquo;s community liaisons.</p><p>She reads one of the recent text messages: &quot;'Continue to breast feed young children even if they have diarrhea.' It&rsquo;s a message the Ministry of Public Health thought was very important to go out.&quot;</p><p>Cholera is new here and many are fearful. A tent clinic for cholera that was under construction in Saint-Marc, to the north, was <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/10/27/130862138/chaos-at-haiti-hospital-as-patients-seek-treatment">met with angry demonstrators</a> who didn&rsquo;t want it in their community. It was dismantled.</p><p>Officials with the IOM say that&rsquo;s why education -- via radio and cell phone -- is so desperately needed. Cholera doesn't need to be a killer, they say, if people just know more about it. Copyright 2010 National Public Radio.<img src="http://metrics.npr.org/b/ss/nprapidev/5/1288381255?&amp;gn=Text+Messages%2C+Radio+Alert+Haitians+To+Cholera+Risks&amp;ev=event2&amp;h1=Cholera+In+Haiti,Medical+Treatments,Health,Latin+America,World+Health,Technology,World,Home+Page+Top+Stories,News&amp;c3=D%3Dgn&amp;v3=D%3Dgn&amp;c4=130917584&amp;c7=1031&amp;v7=D%3Dc7&amp;c18=1031&amp;v18=D%3Dc18&amp;c19=20101029&amp;v19=D%3Dc19&amp;c20=1&amp;v20=D%3Dc20&amp;c21=2&amp;v21=D%3Dc2&amp;c45=MDA0OTc2MjAwMDEyNjk0NDE4OTI2NmUwNQ001" alt="" /></p></p> Fri, 29 Oct 2010 14:34:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/cholera-haiti/text-messages-radio-alert-haitians-cholera-risks