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To Fight, Not to Fear
We were hit with another jolt on Friday: Cholera. Having worked hard for nine months to get above the rubble, it was not a good time to be hit by another disaster call--then again it is never a good time for cholera.
In the face of the terrible news and already high death toll, we can report that one of our graduates, Dr. Jhonny Fequiere, LCS '2000 and graduate of the State Medical School, is at the front of Haiti's fight to save life and put an end as quickly as possible to the outbreak. Jhonny is the medical director for the Claire Heureuse Hospital in Marchand Dessalines, a hospital in the middle of the region of the initial outbreak.
Rather than fear cholera, we are asking our students to be agents in the fight to stop it. Cholera can be stopped by clean water and proper care with food. The students know that it is within the means of every Haitian to fight this. They are ready to ask the truck drivers who deliver water to not be careless or put people at risk, and they have already asked if they can go into the school’s Santo neighborhood to make sure people understand what to do.
Haiti has an excellent track record with responding to health information. After being wrongly identified as the origin of HIV/AIDS in the 1980s, Haiti responded better than any other country to the information on how HIV/AIDS is spread and cut its rate of occurrence nearly in half.
While we again are set into a period of mourning for those who have died in the outbreak, we are also respectfully proud that our community's response is to fight.