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Chikungunya hit Haiti!!!

After more or less 2 months the Chikungunya turn the country on a new crisis. The population is totally in panic. The communication to the population is contradictory, the country do not have the capacity to counter this crisis. But we can’t blame them. This disease hit several countries and did several epidemics. Only few studies on the virus have been done. So far no treatment has been found to treat the virus, we just treat the symptoms fever; join pains, headache and rash are the common symptoms. The only effective measure is to take painkiller to reduce the pain. The virus doesn’t kill and give you long term immunity. However the consequences can be forever. Some people can feel the pain several years after. Again fortunately the virus doesn’t kill.

However this crisis just hides another problem that worries us. The vector of the Chikungunya is the Aedes/Aegypti mosquitos. It’s the same mosquitos that carry Dengue. Dengue has been identified in Haiti several years ago. But unfortunately by a lack of test no information has been done on these diseases. Some doctors keep saying that there isn’t Dengue in Haiti and just increase the confusion. Some NGOs fight to emphasis this disease due to its severity. But Malaria was the main issue for the country. Before the Chikungunya everyone talks about Malaria, now everyone forgot Malaria and talk about Chikungunya and Dengue hit in silence. The main symptoms are the same but the consequences are totally different. Dengue can kill if it’s not treated has it should be. But the health care center are not train to diagnosis properly the different diseases. And in a country as Haiti the population use auto-medication instead of going to a doctor due to cost. And often the treatments are not adapted.

Unfortunately in such situation only a national plan can counter the crisis but Haiti doesn’t have the capacity. In this context the breeding nest have to be treated and the population has to use personal protection. Some NGOs try to organize a rapid response to counter the situation locally. Of course this kind of response will not solve the problem but reduce the hemorrhagic locally.

To counter the panic the NGOs try a massive communication on the disease and emphasis the importance to be diagnosed by a doctor mainly due to the Dengue. At the same time we communicate on the way to reduce the breeding nest around their house and take personal protection. The second step is to counter the mosquito. Two options possible smoke for the mosquito and treat the breeding nest. Those two options are really efficient but are expensive require a strong logistic, human resource and time. In Haiti many wells were realized in order to enhance the access of water. Unfortunately those wells are the best spot for the mosquitos. It’s what we are going to target first.

In this situation we have unfortunately to expect several crises in the coming years until the entire population is immunized.

Regarding our organization I think the entire (with maybe few exceptions) had been affected. In the organization it looks like all the expatriated had the virus.

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June 19, 2014 in Haiti |