7.1.c Haiti Earthquake

  • Created by: lee8444
  • Created on: 03-03-20 14:54

Cholera information

  • Infectious bacteria
  • Causes diarrhoea which leads to dehydration
  • Particularly bad in Africa
  • Spread through water
  • Transmitted through faeces
  • Causes 42,000 - 142,000 deaths every year
  • Some can be infected but have no symptoms or impacts, however, they can still pass it onto others
  • Very common after natural disasters when water management schemes are impacted
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Overview of Cholera in Haiti

  • 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010
  • No cholera previously for 100 years
  • The outbreak didn't begin until 10 months after the earthquake
  • 80,000 Haitians have been infected killing 9,000
  • Caused by UN peacekeepers deployed from Nepal
  • The epicentre was 16 miles west of Port-au-Prince
  • 3.5 million people live in the area that was shaken
  • Frequently vulnerable to tropical cyclones and earthquakes
  • 4 hurricanes in the summer of 2008
  • Precipitation and temperatures were above average in 2010 which exacerbated the destroyed water and sanitation infrastructure
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Environmental factors contributing to the outbreak

  • Rainy seasons and hurricanes cause a temporary period of bad health and deaths
  • Haiti is at an increased risk of cholera spreading due to climate change
  • IPCC says that climate change will also increase the impact and frequency of tropical cyclones and other extreme weather events
  • Dead bodies were buried in the environment in mass heaps which decomposed and sometimes contaminated more water sources
  • Landslides caused flooding downstream causing more transmission
  • Shortages of potable water and fuel before the disaster let alone after
  • Cholera grow better in the moist, hot conditions of Haiti
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Human factors contributing to the outbreak

  • Morgue facilities were overwhelmed and so many bodies were laid out in the streets and in mass graves
  • Low construction standards with no building codes and so many buildings collapsed during the earthquake and so the people were left with no shelter or places to clean after the earthquake
  • Lack of immunity
  • Malnutrition and access to clean water meant that it was hard to recover from cholera increasing the spread
  • Ranked 147th out of 147 for water security
  • 37% of Haitians lack access to adequate drinking water
  • 83% lack sanitation facilities
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Impacts of Cholera in Haiti

  • Caused riots against the UN as the UN had brought cholera to Haiti from Nepal and Haiti didn't previously have the disease
  • The UN shot 5 protestors which caused more anger among the Haitian population
  • Police fired tear gas
  • More spikes of cholera came in 2016 following Hurricane Matthew
  • Food insecurity
  • Even worse water sources
  • Health services were stretched
  • Social inequality between those that could and couldn't afford health care
  • Loss of the workforce
  • Healthcare challenged traditional views
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Strategies to reduce the impacts


  • 2013
  • OCV - Oral Cholera Vaccination
  • 2 main regions - Cerca Caravajal & Petite Anse
  • Not backed by the WHO - their opinion has changed since
  • 65% success rate for 5 years


  • Accepted responsibility in 2016 - led to more coordination
  • 67% decrease in cases 12 months after
  • Rapid response framework
    • 13 teams & 60 support/mobile teams
    • investigated the source and set up a perimeter
    • helped educate families on how to prevent the spread
    • chlorination points
  • OCV support
  • Long-term sanitation - helped to rebuild infrastructure after hurricane
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