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Health Care & Environment

07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]

07.20 Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% More Likely to Have Congenital Heart Defects, New Study Shows

07.20 Giving 'Upper Hand to Corporate Polluters,' EPA Drops Surprise Inspections

07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]

07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

07.13 'Climate Despair' Is Making People Give Up on Life [Willfully ignorant governments—having fired many of their best scientists—have made themselves too stupid to despair]

07.13 Trump administration to approve pesticide that may harm bees [The worst government money can buy!]

07.12 These solar panels don’t just generate power—they produce drinking water

07.12 David Attenborough: polluting planet may become as reviled as slavery [1:34 video]

07.11 7,000+ Colleges and Universities Declare Climate Emergency and Unveil Three-Point Plan to Combat It [Fox News and Betsy DeVos never talk about this stuff so it must be Bull Shit, right?]

07.10 Plastic Has A Big Carbon Footprint — But That Isn't The Whole Story [Fixing our world begins by educating your consciousness with the best truth from trustworthy news sources—so you'll then insist truly bad things will get fixed. But if instead you are educated by untrustworthy news sources—then your consciousness could be warped to where you are hating and fighting with your best friends. Clue: untrustworthy news sources never seriously report news about the world's most critical emergency—Global warming.]

07.10 Molly Scott Cato: ‘It’s the wealthy who are causing climate change’

07.09 Judge reinstates Madrid's low emissions zone [Yeh!]

07.07 How Solar Panels Work (And Why They're Taking Over the World) [Hope they leave space between panels for wild flowers to grow so birds and butterflies can flourish!]

07.05 Tree planting 'has mind-blowing potential' to tackle climate crisis

News Media Matters

07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]

07.20 "Trump Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 House Democrats demand Hope Hicks clarify testimony after Cohen document dump

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

07.18 Deadly Delays in Jail Construction Cost Lives and Dollars Across California

07.18 Inside Trump's DC hotel, where allies and lobbyists flock to peddle their interests [Also, too much ignored by media, the $millions "donated" corrupting moderate Democrats and Republicans every election cycle must stop]

07.18 This Republican's Case for Medicare for All [A well-informed Republican is rare, so let's hold him in the light so others may learn]

07.18 Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after president attacks Ilhan Omar [1:03 video shows Trump pandering to his ignorant idolaters, and together they're making America a greater shit-hole country]

07.18 "Can't Change a Corrupt System by Taking Its Money": Sanders Urges All 2020 Democrats to Reject Insurance, Big Pharma Cash [49:02 video w/ lousy sound]

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

07.15 China’s Economic Growth Hits 27-Year Low as Trade War Stings

International & Futurism

07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]

07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]

07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]

07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

07.18 Foreign purchases of American homes plunge 36% as Chinese buyers flee the market

07.18 There are 16 million slaves around the world making our stuff

07.18 ‘No rioters, only a tyrannical regime’: Thousands of Hong Kong seniors march in support of young extradition law protesters [Most people around the world have more in common with these Hong Kong Chinese protestors than with the ignorant people at Trump rallies]

07.18 Dozens Arrested as Over 1,000 Jewish Activists and Allies Shut Down Entrances to ICE Headquarters Demanding Closure of Trump Detention Camps [Obviously these are not the immoral and less educated right-wing jews who support Netanyahu, Trump and ICE, and who slowly exterminate Palestinians when no one is looking]

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  Print view: Haiti's Cholera Outbreak: A Disease of Poverty
COMMENTARY:

Haiti's Cholera Outbreak: A Disease of Poverty

Only predatory imperial/capitalistic interests seem to matter most to America and the West, preying on the many to benefit the few.

by Stephen Lendman
Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Billions of dollars of pledged or delivered aid is earmarked for development, not basic health essentials for those in need under crisis conditions.

On October 22, Reuters confirmed Haiti's cholera outbreak, saying efforts were being made to prevent an epidemic that so far "killed nearly 200 people and sickened more than 2,000," official reports understating the threat.

On the same day, New York Times writer Donald McNeil, Jr. headlined, "Cholera Outbreak Kills 150 in Haiti," saying:

"A cholera outbreak in a rural area of northwestern Haiti....overwhelmed local hospitals with thousands of sick," according to the World Health Organization. Rural Artibonite, Haiti's main rice-growing area, 62 miles north of Port-au-Prince was struck, though cases were surfacing elsewhere. They're now in the nation's capital where overcrowding threatens a possible epidemic.

Though normally less congested, Artibonite hosts thousands of earthquake victims, most drinking St. Marc River water, contaminated with raw sewage. As a result, a potential disaster there looms as in Port-au-Prince and other parts of Haiti. Dirty water and poor sanitation are the problems, as well as poverty, always the main cause wherever cholera strikes.

St. Marc Hospital was "a horror scene," said David Darg, director of Operation Blessing International. McNeil reported him "describing people lying in courtyards on sheets soaked with rain and feces, children writhing in agony and adults lying motionless, their eyes rolled back as nurses searched for veins."

Since 1985, Partners in Health (PIH) has done heroic work in Haiti, its "flagship project," delivering care to many thousands of impoverished, malnourished, sick people. On October 26 on Democracy Now, PIH's Dr. Evan Lyon called the outbreak "terrifying," saying it's very fast-moving. Without help, adults die in 24 hours. "For the young, for the old, for vulnerable people," it's often 12 hours.

Most alarming is that "In a country where at least 70% (some say 90%) of people have no access to (clean) water or (proper) sanitation, (they) can't protect themselves." Haitians have no experience with the disease. "Their immune systems have no exposure, which will help the disease spread more rapidly....So the country is terrified at this point."

On the same program, Dr. John Arbus, Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said:

"It's probably clear to us that this will not go away for several years. We'll need to (stay vigilant). This front-full surge of cases will come down, but there will probably be sporadic cases in the future, now that the bacteria is well established in the environment."

The first cases were confirmed about a week earlier. Then cholera exploded and made headlines. It struck a prison in Mirebalais near St. Marc where Lyon used to work. At least six deaths were reported, another 25 confirmed ill. The prison houses about 250 inmates, at least 80% awaiting trial, not convicted of a crime. Most, in fact, are likely innocent. Yet all of them were exposed, can't get out, are malnourished, and get unsafe water under "horrible sanitation conditions....So people (there) based on accusations (alone) have now been handed a death sentence," Lyon explained.

More frightening is that "cholera will not go away in Haiti until the underlying conditions" change, meaning poverty, hunger, malnutrition, unsafe water, poor sanitation, densely populated neighborhoods, and overcrowded outdoor camps for up to 1.5 million in and around Port-au-Prince.

Wherever there's poor infrastructure, "this disease will be around....it's a very frightening time for the country," authorities understating the danger or potential numbers already affected. It's likely thousands more than reported, most ill, others dead or dying, even though reports now say conditions are stabilizing.

On October 25, Times writer Deborah Sontag headlined, "Amid Cholera Outbreak in Haiti, Misery and Hope," saying:

Located in St. Marc, St. Nicholas Hospital's courtyard had, "Scores of children and adults....doubled over or stretched out on every available surface, racked by convulsive stomach disorder or limp with dehydration." For them, life hangs in the balance. Most treated in time pull through, Medical News Today's Christian Nordqvist saying it's done "with cheap and simple antibiotics, fluids and oral rehydration solution." Otherwise, death is painful and likely.

"Many people in our neighborhood have died of diarrhea and vomiting," said Gerda Pierre, her son, aged four, stricken with the disease like many others. Through October 31, the reported death toll was 337 with over 4,000 confirmed ill, mostly in central and northern Haiti, though small outbreaks in Port-au-Prince are alarming. UN and local health officials warned of a potential epidemic, putting "tens of thousands" or more at risk.

So far, only scattered Port-au-Prince cases have been reported that could spread uncontrollably if not checked. Worrisome, however, is whether greater numbers aren't known or have been unreported, as well as outbreaks in other areas.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) calls cholera an intestinal infection caused by "toxigenic Vibrio cholerae, group O-1 or O-139." It results from natural or man-made disasters, resulting in overcrowding; unsafe water; poor sanitation, including improper elimination of human waste; and contaminated food. Symptoms include uncontrollable diarrhea, with or without vomiting, producing dehydration and early death if not treated.

A Brief History of Cholera

Since first emerging over 200 years ago in Calcutta, India, it's killed millions. From 1817 - 1823, it spread from India to Southeast and Central Asia, the Middle East and Russia, ravaging areas struck.

From 1826 - 1837, a cholera epidemic struck England and Western Europe, causing many thousands of deaths. It then spread to America, Canada, Mexico, Guyana and Cuba. In January 1991, Vibrio cholerae O-1 hit an area of coastal Peru. By 2000, it reached other regional countries, while America, Canada, Argentina, Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Paraguay, Panama, and Suriname remained cholera free. Under good health conditions, it's entirely preventable. For decades, Haiti was spared. Now an epidemic threatens.

Monitoring the situation, PAHO said suspected cases are in Haiti's Northern and Southern areas, as well as confirmed ones in Gonaives, Haiti's third largest city. Twenty or more cases in Port-au-Prince are being investigated. Likely there are many more unknown or unreported.

A Final Comment

An earlier article explained that Haiti is no stranger to adversity and anguish, after over 500 years of oppression, slavery, despotism, colonialism, reparations, embargoes, sanctions, deep poverty, starvation, disease, unrepayable debt, and calamities like destructive hurricanes, the January earthquake, and now cholera.

It's an old story for Haitians, including US domination for nearly two centuries, bringing misery, not aid to needy people, a story that repeated in January that continues. Instead of delivering massive amounts of food, water, medical care, shelter, and immediate steps to clear rubble and rebuild, in came Marines and paratroupers, occupying the country repressively with UN Blue Helmets, never there for peace.

Haiti was reopened for business, its people to be exploited, not helped. Billions of dollars of pledged or delivered aid is earmarked for development, not essentials to those in need under crisis conditions. For example, Washington promised over $1.1 billion. It's yet to be delivered, and whatever comes will go to profiteering NGOs, as well as for corporate ventures, upscale housing, and resource development, including projects George Bush and Bill Clinton are promoting.

They include sweeping privatizations, tourism ventures, port development, free trade zones, deregulatory freedom creating worker hell, and eventually exploiting Haiti's riches, principally its oil, believed to be abundant.

For America, the West, Haiti's oligarchs and its government, homeless, malnourished, mistreated, and sick Haitians are of no concern, including those affected by cholera. Only predatory imperial interests matter, preying on the many for the few, millions of Haitians easy pickings to exploit. Their struggle for liberation continues.


Stephen Lendman

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His blog is sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on November 3, 2010.
 



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