Cholera in the Time of MINUSTAH: Experiences of Community Members Affected by the Cholera in Haiti

Susan Bartels, Georgia Fraulin, Stephanie Etienne, Sandra C. Wisner, Sabine Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In 2010, Haiti experienced one of the deadliest cholera outbreaks of the 21st century. United Nations (UN) peacekeepers are widely believed to have introduced cholera, and the UN has formally apologized to Haitians and accepted responsibility. The current analysis examines how Haitian community members experienced the epidemic and documents their attitudes around accountability. Using SenseMaker, Haitian research assistants collected micronarratives surrounding 10 UN bases in Haiti. Seventy-seven cholera-focused micronarratives were selected for a qualitative thematic analysis. The five following major themes were identified: (1) Cholera cases and deaths; (2) Accessing care and services; (3) Protests and riots against the UN; (4) Compensation; and (5) Anti-colonialism. Findings highlight fear, frustration, anger, and the devastating impact that cholera had on families and communities, which was sometimes compounded by an inability to access life-saving medical care. Most participants believed that the UN should compensate cholera victims through direct financial assistance but there was significant misinformation about the UN’s response. In conclusion, Haiti’s cholera victims and their families deserve transparent communication and appropriate remedies from the UN. To rebuild trust in the UN and foreign aid, adequate remedies must be provided in consultation with victims
Original languageEnglish
Article number4974
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Apr 2022

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