Good Governance: The Cholera Cure


Joe Amon blames the recent cholera outbreak on Haiti's sub-par government:

Governments don't want to admit the failure of health-care or surveillance systems, and they are afraid of the trade and travel sanctions that may result from a large outbreak. But inaction leads to larger epidemics: Treating a few cases of cholera with oral rehydration salts or intravenous fluids is relatively straightforward, managing hundreds or thousands of cases is not. With prompt and proper treatment, less than 1 percent of those infected die. Without a fast response, death rates of five percent or more are not unheard of.

(Photo: A relative holds the hand of Dachny, a child who is suffering from the symptoms of cholera at a hospital run by the Haitian government where Doctors Without Borders is treating people October 27, 2010 in St. Marc, Haiti. Haiti, one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere, has been further unsettled by an outbreak of cholera which has killed nearly 300 people so far. The epidemic has affected the central Artibonite and Central Plateau regions with 3,612 cases so far on record. While authorities believe the outbreak is contained, they believe it has not yet peaked. There is also fear that the deadly diarrheal disease could migrate to the sprawling camps for the hundreds of thousands of Haitians displaced by the earthquake. By Spencer Platt/Getty Images)