Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

How Media Coverage Affects Epidemics’ Spread

This article discusses media coverage of an epidemic and how misleading it can be, particularly in the case of cholera in Haiti. People expected the cholera epidemic to result from the 2010 earthquake, even though disasters actually don’t result in epidemics most of the time, and many other misconceptions also spread quickly along with the bacterium. These misconceptions often lead to more deaths than necessary. Ultimately, the spread of accurate information will help control epidemics like this both before and after they spread. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full version. First Days of the Epidemic Jonathan Katz, Beacon Reader August 11, 2014 For many fixated on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, or its faint echoes in the United States, the ready parallels have been from horror movies (especially thezombie apocalypse Americans like to joke, perhaps a little too […]

UN Finally Answers Questions on Cholera in Haiti

After years of avoiding questions and denying responsibility for bringing cholera to Haiti, Assistant UN Secretary General Medrano finally comes close to admitting UN responsiblity in an interview with Jonathan Katz. Medrano also gives more information on the failing-thus-far cholera elimination plan proposed by the UN. UN Cholera Envoy: ‘It was never the intention … to bring cholera in Haiti’ Jonathan M. Katz, Beacon Reader February 19, 2014 OVERVIEW Three years after scientists say United Nations soldiers brought a killer strain of cholera to the Western Hemisphere, the UN’s new point man on the crisis answers questions about legal battles, recalcitrant donors, and fighting an epidemic that has killed 9,000 people and counting. When it comes to granting interviews about the world’s worst ongoing cholera epidemic, the UN is in a tough spot. On one hand, desperate for funds, the organization […]

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