Water and Sanitation in the Time of Cholera

Sustaining Progress on Water, Sanitation, and Health in Haiti

In October 2010, just nine months after an earthquake devastated the capital city of Port-au-Prince and displaced an estimated 1.5 million people, Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population reported a cholera outbreak in two of the country’s most impoverished regions. It was the first time cholera—a diarrheal disease associated with the consumption of food and water contaminated by feces infected with the bacterium vibrio cholerae—had been identified in the country in at least 100 years. Within a month of the initial report, cholera had spread not only to all regions of Haiti but also to the neighboring Dominican Republic.

This report considers opportunities for the United States to enhance its support for improving Haiti’s water supply and sanitation services and contributing to the elimination of the transmission of cholera and the reduction of diarrheal disease in the country.

Katherine E. Bliss
Senior Fellow and Director, Immunizations and Health Systems Resilience, Global Health Policy Center

Matt Fisher