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Explain the cholera outbreak in Haiti's impact on that country's society. 

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danielb77 | Valedictorian

Posted May 23, 2013 at 8:01 PM via web

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Explain the cholera outbreak in Haiti's impact on that country's society. 

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 23, 2013 at 8:29 PM (Answer #1)

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The cholera epidemic in Haiti has had a number of impacts on the society of that country.

First, we must look at the simple impact of the sickness and death on those who experienced it.  Being gravely ill is a traumatic experience and can scar anyone who undergoes it.  Having a child or another loved one experience a serious illness is very difficult on people who are not themselves sick.  The epidemic sickened hundreds of thousands of Haitians, meaning that many hundreds of thousands of people either got sick or had loved ones get sick.  Over 8,000 Haitians died.  This degree of stress and grief tears at the fabric that binds a society together.

Second, there was economic damage caused by the outbreak.  People were unable to work because they were sick or had to care for those who were.  Income was lost as agricultural products became suspect.  In a country that is already horribly poor, anything that makes things worse has a major impact.

Finally, the epidemic has deepened Haitian distrust of authority.  The fact that their government is not able to do much about the epidemic reduces confidence in their own country.  The fact that Nepalese UN soldiers might have been responsible for bringing the epidemic reduces trust in foreigners who are ostensibly in Haiti to help.

In these ways and others, the cholera epidemic in Haiti has damaged their society.

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