Balanced Approach Needed To Fight Cholera Outbreaks In Haiti

Jason Nickerson, a respiratory therapist and doctoral candidate in Population Health at the University of Ottawa, in this Global Health Hub post, recounts recent controversy surrounding “the health and humanitarian response to the earthquake and cholera outbreaks” in Haiti, noting tension “between the provision of [a cholera] vaccine as opposed to spending the money on improvements to water and sanitation” in the country. Nickerson highlights logistical issues with the rollout of the vaccine and concludes, “Moving forward, it is clear that a balanced approach continues to be needed. One that adopts universal principles for everyone in Haiti, and moves toward active case finding and aggressive treatment, reliable and safe water and sanitation systems, and greater preventative measures at the community level, including surveillance, education and community mobilization” (11/21).