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Health and Sanitation

According to Michael & Keith (2010), health can be defined in negative terms as the absence of sickness, or in positive terms as well-being and fitness. Functionally health is understood as the capability to cope with daily activities. From the perspective of World Health Organization (WHO), health is a state of complete social, physical and mental well-being, and this does not comprise a mere absence of infirmity or disease. Sanitation is defined as the practice and science of effecting hygienic and healthful conditions, this can as well be referred to as the study and employment of hygienic measures, for example, pure water supply, good ventilation, and good drainage conditions (Heller, 2009).

By research findings, Haiti has been found to be faced by major challenges in the sanitation and water supply sector. Frequent incidents of cholera outbreak as well as other waterborne diseases have been experienced in the Haiti’s rural and urban slum areas. In both urban and rural areas, there is very low coverage of sanitation and water supply. Wastewater and sewer systems treatment do not exist at all. Particularly, accessing the public services is extremely low, the quality of public services is inadequate, and the public institutions are extremely weak even when they are given aid by foreign countries. Both Haitian and the Foreign NGOs play a significant role towards the sector, particularly in urban slum and rural areas (Graves, 2002).    

The American Red Cross in partnership with Fonkoze, have tried to improve the health conditions for the families staying in rural Haiti. The families in rural areas have been assisted to seek and find medical attention as soon as they need it. In each rural community, 5-7 Haitians have been educated to serve as the sanitation and health advisors, such that they will educate and make their communities aware regarding the sanitation and hygiene practices. Of the appointed health advisors, two individuals are equipped with the supply of aquatabs, chlorine, surgical masks and gloves that are to be used in the case of disease outbreak, especially cholera. The American Red Cross, supported financially by Fonkoze, and the freshly trained Sanitation and Health Advisors, are expected to efficaciously reduce the incidents of cholera as well as other extremely contagious but preventable diseases in rural Haiti to less than 2 percent.     

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