The cost to stop cholera

By July 14, 2011

Haiti (MNN) — What can you do with $3? You could almost get that new mocha coconut frappuccino at Starbucks. You could almost afford one gallon of gas.

But what if you were told you could save the life of a family member with just that $3?

In Haiti, the cholera epidemic has been no secret. Thousands have been dying due to lack of hygiene and sanitation practices. In 2010, Haiti was known as having the most deaths occur from a single, preventable illness.

World Hope International (WHI) stepped up to the cry for help, and challenges you to join them. WHI has gone down and provided care for those suffering from the deadly disease in Haiti. On top of that, they have provided education to those most at risk on the importance of hygiene and sanitation. This information helps prevent the disease from spreading as people begin to take the necessary precautions.

So far in this year alone, WHI has educated 67,000 Haitians on the importance of sanitation and hand-washing practices. Those who were taught by WHI were also encouraged to take their newfound knowledge into their communities, thus having a wider impact.

Here is where that $3 comes in. It costs just $3 to provide one person with education on cholera prevention through hygiene and sanitation. This education includes hand-washing instruction–the easiest way to prevent the deadly disease.

In 2010, nearly 5% of all cholera deaths occurred in Haiti. This is a large estimate when you consider that Haiti is a tiny nation of only 9.7 million people. In some areas of the country, as many of 40 out of every 1,000 people were struck with cholera.

But a little hand washing goes a long way. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 80% of all infections are transmitted by human hands. Cholera isn't the only thing prevented through sanitation education.

Dr. Karl Eastlack, President and CEO of World Hope International writes, "When visiting these countries, I've witnessed it firsthand. I've seen how simple acts of prevention, like washing our hands, can instantly improve the health of a single person, a family, even a village."

In all this, the name of Christ is advanced. World Hope International is an intentionally-Christian organization with the goal of proclaiming the name of Christ. Showing the love of God by caring for others opens the door for discussion about the Gospel.

So what do you say? Skip the Starbucks next time. Give your $3 to save a life.

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