Notes on cholera at HAS from 17 year old Haitian/American Stephanie Dorvil:
OMG! Cholera returned again. Why is this happening? AHHHHH!
I feel so bad for the people that keep getting cholera. What are they doing wrong? Is there something wrong with my country Haiti?
I’ve been working in the cholera unit for 8 months and I’ve seen a lot. And I mean a lot. From the vomiting and diarrhea to the sad effect it has when women lose their babies. But I also like to see when people get better and go back to their homes. I like how hard the nurses work giving the patients their medications, changing their IVs, changing patient’s diapers and they never even get a chance to sit down.
A month ago it was more calm. We had more time to talk to the patients one on one and focus on their personal needs while they were in the unit. And now things are crazier. There are so many patients (about 70 at the moment) that it’s hard to remember their names. There are big changes being made in the ward too. There are new tents going up and gates being built to protect the people from the outside from getting cholera. I’ve always washed my hands when I walk in and out of the ward, but now there is a security guard who also washes everyone’s shoes to stop the spread of cholera when we leave the ward.
Cholera isn’t all bad. There is a fun part to it. When the patients start getting better they make jokes about how they came in and how sick they felt. As the patients leave they all say thank you and I am happy that I helped them get better.
Working in the cholera ward has made me want to become a doctor when I’m older. I am already a caregiver and at the end of the day I feel proud and happy of myself for the work I have done to help other people. I want to study to be a doctor so I can help make the decisions to make people better when they have cholera and other diseases.
To make the cholera ward better we need support from people here in Haiti and around the world. Here we also need education on prevention so that people don’t get sick again and so that they can spread the word to others. I love the experience I am having in the cholera ward because it is preparing me to be a leader in the future.