It's like dealing with Cholera which was a gift from MINUSTAH to the Haitian people was not enough. We also had recent outbreaks of Chikungunya, Dengue and our major health scare about Ebola. Still we now have something new to deal with, the Zika virus infection. As a result of recent warning by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) of cases of Zika virus infection in our region, the Minister of Public Health in Haiti has implemented early warning system to detect potential cases of the Zika infection in the Haitian population. Mosquitoes are considered to be the primary vectors of the virus. So far all specimens of mosquitoes, tested have turned out negative.
In a new study that fails to tell Haitians anything they didn't already know about their flailing health care system, the Henry Ford Hospital stated that, to bridge the barriers existing in health care and culture, greater mobilized medical care needs to be implemented. While it says nothing new, the study highlights the health care problems faced by the Haitian population, especially after the 2010 earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands and left millions homeless.
What it did provide that might not yet be widely documented are some alarming percentages that show the true dire state of the Haitian health care system. Half of those surveyed said they have either contracted malaria, or knew someone who had. Slightly more, at 58%, have never heard of the infectious mosquito transmitted disease that manifests with a high fever and headache, dengue. 30% named fever as their main medical complaint and 76% feel unable to help loved ones who take ill. Perhaps more alarming is that 69% put no faith in Western medicine, believing that traditional Haitian techniques are more potent in treating their illnesses. It is perhaps why 79% name their religious leader as the primary source of their medical information.
Following the warning from the Ministry of Public Health and Population in the Dominican Republic regarding the reappearance of avian flu (H1N1 virus) in their country, the Ministry of Trade and Industry in Haiti took its own precaution to protect the Haitian population.
Effective immediately, the Haitians government has instituted a ban. Importers and retailers of meat products, particularly poultry, eggs and live animals potentially infected or carriers of the Avian Flu from the Dominican Republic are prohibited from carrying these products until further order.
Can Haiti afford to be affected by Avian Flu? As we are currently dealing with the Cholera epidemic inherited from the Nepalese contingent of UN peacekeeping MINUSTAH, Haiti is faced with a new health threat.
Cholera, a severe bacterial infection, affects the intestines, causing bouts of watery diarrhea, heaving, circulatory distress, and shock. Anyone can contract cholera, the exception being nursing infants. But there are particular contributors that can predispose people to the illness:
Malnutrition. People who are starving have a propensity to catching cholera. The illness takes hold in places where survivors of war or natural disasters live. Or in communities that suffer famine.
Low levels of stomach acid. Inadequate levels of stomach acid create an environment for cholera bacteria to flourish in. Age groups that have low-acidity markers are children and aged people. Gastric surgery survivors and antacid takers, suffering from ulcers, are also prone to getting cholera.
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