Preventing cholera in Haiti
In 2016, when a fresh outbreak of cholera began in the mountainside community of Wopisa-Gabriyèl, Haiti, Precius Estilus was among the first to fall ill. Early one morning, he was gathering his tools to work in his garden when he was overtaken by a sudden, extreme weakness. By 11 a.m., he was vomiting. A friend encouraged him to go to the doctor, and they began the long descent to the nearest cholera treatment center.
The only way out of Wopisa-Gabriyèl is on foot. The descent is steep and covered with loose rocks, and at one point requires climbing down rocks through streaming water in the middle of a waterfall. Despite his friend’s encouragement to hurry, Estilus had to stop every few minutes to recover and gather his strength.
By the time he finally arrived in the town of Verrettes and the cholera treatment center of MCC partner Zanmi Lasante (the Haitian branch of the nonprofit Partners in Health), it was 10 at night. Another patient in the center had just died. Seeing his condition, doctors immediately started him on rehydration solution. “As the IV dripped, I felt closer and closer to God,” he says. “I knew only God could give me back my life.”