VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
In Haiti, fighting cholera -- and its stigma
December 20, 2010 by Susana Ferreira
|As part of our cholera prevention work, the IRC is monitoring camps and communities for cholera and reaching out to people who may be afraid to seek help. Photo: Susana Ferreira/IRC|
One of the biggest hurdles in the fight against cholera in Haiti is the heavy stigma that’s developed around it. In response, the International Rescue Committee has developed a poster with key messages to combat discrimination against people who are sick with cholera.
The poster is in Creole and is being distributed by various other aid groups, and is used by the IRC’s cholera response teams in the 30 camps we serve.
Message 1: Cholera is a disease just like any other
Message 2: Anybody can get contaminated
Message 3: Do not despise/humiliate/reject any cholera-affected person
Message 4: Being prudent to protect ourselves against cholera is not discrimination
Message 5: Do not avoid helping cholera-affected people, just remember to follow the hygiene rules
Message 6: Touching, hugging, or taking a cholera-affected person to the hospital does not mean you are contaminated. Just remember to follow the hygiene rules.
Message 7: Cholera will be more hurtful to people if they also suffer from discrimination
Message 8: Let us show solidarity for all sick people, particularly those affected by cholera. Let us stop all forms of discrimination while celebrating the 62nd anniversary of Human Rights Day.
You can download a PDF of the poster in the original Creole here.