Chloera

The thing about cholera is that it is not a very difficult disease to treat. Not difficult in that it requires only fluids and antibiotics. The fluids are necessary as cholera causes intense diarrhea and vomiting- so intense that a person with cholera can lose 10-15 of the 40 liters of water in the body in a day. Untreated, cholera can kill a person in 24 hours.

So, fluids and antibiotics. Oh, and a scale to weigh the patient so that an accurate quantity of fluids can be determined based on his/her weight (70 ccs of fluid/kilo of weight). And, although not critical, a calculator would be helpful to quickly and correctly determine dosages. And, if the patient cannot take fluids orally because he/she is vomiting so, medical equipment to introduce an IV is needed. And, an automated IV pump would free the practitioner from having to count the drips coming from the IV bag. And, being such an incredibly contagious disease, soap and water or antibacterial washes are needed for the medical personnel who work with these patients as well as for family members who help with the care.  And, and, and. It's not just fluids and antibiotics. It's so much more.

It is said that the devil is in the details and this is exactly true when it comes to aiding people in war torn areas or after a natural disaster. Solutions sound so straightforward- fluids and antibiotics- but they are rarely so. The clinics that patients visit- IF they can get to them depending on the destruction rendered about them- sound as though they are in precarious condition themselves. If in tact, many basic pieces of equipment may be lacking (a scale!). 

I think about the donations this non profit will collect and how they will be applied- there is so much to do. There are so many details to think of. There is much to prepare and then execute all while travelling and setting up shop in often dangerous environs. 

Once upon a time I thought differently about how and where donations from 2400 Miles would be used. Medical equipment for a clinic? Training for new medical personnel? Something BIG maybe! But now, I am thinking about, band aids and gauze, bandages and splints, antibiotic ointment and alcohol swabs and all of the everyday, not very romantic items that make up a basic first aid kit like the one sitting in your bathroom cabinet. Today I would be thrilled if a practitioner in Haiti, for example, had a kit like that so that he/she could better serve survivors of Hurricane Mathew, The basics. Let's get them the basics along with the treatments...or the treatments won't treat.

Please check out http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-11-cholera-haiti-hurricane-matthew.html for more on Dr. Adam Levine of Brown University and his work in Haiti helping those with cholera.