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Cholera can be defined as an acute infection of the intestines which cause vomiting, shock and profuse watery diarrhea. Most of diarrhea is mild diarrhea. It estimated that 3-5 million cases and more than 100,000 people die every year due to cholera. People suffering from cholera suffer loss of body fluids which leads to dehydration. It is very fatal that without proper treatment can cause death within hours. Cholera is caused by eating contaminated food or drinking water which contains the cholera bacterium. Most cases reported are from the venders in the street or unsafe water supplies. It's mostly spread through eating undercooked or raw foods.
Migration from the rural areas to the urban areas is one major cause of cholera. The people lead to congestion and amenities like water and sanitation infrastructure are strained. This disease symbolizes lack of the most basic sanitation and poverty (Hamlin, 2009). Delivering of the simple rehydration treatment which has proven very important to the remote areas is very hard when there occurs an epidemic.
"In 2009, 45 countries reported 221,226 cholera cases and 4,946 cholera deaths (case-fatality rate 2.24%) to the World Health Organization (WHO). Resource-poor areas continue to report the vast majority of cases; 99% of cases were reported from Africa, continuing a trend." This was from a research from the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention. This results show that cholera mostly affects the poor countries which have limited access to basic sanitation infrastructures (Center for Disease Control and Prevention).
It is approximated that around 5-10% people will be suffering from severe cholera that has symptoms in its early stage like:
- Heart beating at a first rate
- Profuse watery diarrhea
Sever cholera develops to acute renal failure and can also cause on to be in a coma. If left untreated, the dehydration can cause shock which cause death. Those caring for patients having cholera can prevent themselves from getting the disease by making sure that the contaminated foods are well disposed and also by washing of hands. The patients recover very quickly when treated and do not become carriers but can get the diseases again if exposed to areas that are able to transmit the disease. Following the desired precautions minimizes the chances of contracting the disease (Barua 1992). When visiting areas that cholera is occurring, there are prevention measures that need to be considered like:
- Drinking safe water- this can be achieved by drinking bottled water or if not sure that piped water is safe, boil it. You can also use chlorine to treat the water.
- Make sure to wash hands with soap and water that is safe after using the toilet and before you prepare food or eat anything.
- Use latrines and not defecate in water bodies. The latrines should be a distance from the water bodies.
- Makes sure to eat well cooked food and always peel fruits.
- Always make sure that the latrines or the toilets are kept well cleaned and also the kitchen.
There are also vaccines for cholera which are very important. Though, the vaccine should not take the place of prevention measures (Barua 1992).
Prevention and control of cholera is important in the poor countries since they have a high rate of contracting the disease. The lack of amenities like clean water to drink is one of the issues. It is significant to educate to educate the people about cholera and the ways they are going to prevent themselves from contracting it. These people are prone to such disease due to their living conditions and hence should be highlighted on ways which they can prevent themselves.
One of the reasons for crusading for the education of this prevention of cholera is that the people do not take the safety precautions that are set. They do not consider the water that they take since it's the only available source (Wachsmuth 1994). They should be educated on how to take care of the water before use. The water should be boiled before taking since it has bacteria which cause cholera. An alternative is treating the water using chlorine to make it safe for use.
Also digging of latrines is another way people can be educated on how to prevent themselves from contracting cholera. This prevents contamination of water bodies where the source of water is found. This by defecating in the water bodies which cause cholera. The latrines should also be situated a distance away from the water bodies.
The Haiti issue is one of the issues that should be like a lesson that it is possible to prevent cholera from spreading. Communication is vital in situations like this one since most people are not well informed about the situation. It makes it easier to communicate with people on this issue when they know what cholera, how it is caused and how it can be prevented. The media plays a vital role in educating the people too (Wachsmuth 1994). They can broadcast news on outbreaks of cholera. They can tell the people on the symptoms and places where they can go get help. This a very important way of combating the epidemic since the community will be well informed.
Health awareness is one of the challenges of the disease. Awareness should be created in every part of the country. There are some parts which are so remote that they do not get to know ways to prevent themselves from the disease. This situation can be helped by coming up with mobile clinics which can be able to reach those people. Infrastructure is another reason that the people in the remote areas cannot be reached. The infrastructure should be in good order to make access to the people easier (Hamlin 2009).
Personnel that can communicate with the people are also another problem. The local people should be trained so that they can pass the message to the people in a way that the people can understand. Communication is one of the basic requirements to fight this disease. The local health workers should be able to pass the information to the local people on how they can prevent themselves from contracting the disease.
Use of the supplies provided is also another issue. The people should be educated on how to take the medication provided. The perception that only pills are the only forms of medicine should be broken. The people should embrace the education provided to them since it will help in fighting the disease. Establishing health centers is also vital in the remote areas since the people will identify with the local health centers workers and will understand better the effects and ways to prevent the disease (Hamlin 2009). The people who have severe cases will also have a near health center where they can go to.
The awareness campaign will benefit the population that is having a problem with the outbreak since they will get to know more about the epidemic, its causes, symptoms and ways in which it can be prevented or the necessary actions that can be taken when one is infected.
Prevention will work best in this kind of situation. When you know a way in which something is spread the best way is to try to prevent from getting it. In this case prevention from getting cholera is more advisable like the cure. This is because once you have been infected by cholera it is very easy for it to be fatal since it causes dehydration. Prevention is also easy and effective way to ensure that the epidemic does not reach to other parts by means of education.
One way of prevention is by creating campaigns to the community so that they can be aware of what they can face. This way communication works as the link to prevention of contraction of the disease since the people will be aware of the causes (Peters 2004). These campaigns also educate on what to do in case of any problems. These campaigns will deals with issues like telling people to make sure that they wash hands after using toilets, before eating and also no to eat unwashed fruits. These are some of the ways of preventing cholera.
Vaccination is another way of preventing cholera. There are two doses of vaccination which are injected at intervals of four to six weeks. It is not that effective but it is a good measure to take since prevention is better than cure.
Prevention is a good choice since it's the best way to deal with a situation like this one. Something that can spread in a very fast way should be prevented even before it starts. Prevention enable preparation and also promotion of good health since the precautions advocate for eating clean and healthy foods. This also conserves the environment by having latrines and not defecating near water bodies which won't be polluted. By preventing cholera using the means that are available enable more production since people will be healthy hence increase in productivity (Peters 2004).