Cholera often breaks out when there is overcrowding and inadequate access to clean water, rubbish collection and proper toilets. It causes profuse diarrhoea and vomiting which can lead to death by intense dehydration, sometimes within a matter of hours.
Cholera is a serious risk in the aftermath of emergencies, like the Haiti earthquake of 2010, but can strike anywhere. The situation can be especially problematic in rainy seasons when houses and latrines flood and contaminated water collects in stagnant pools.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cholera affects three to five million people worldwide and causes between 100,000 and 130,000 deaths per year.
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)’s water and sanitation engineers and logisticians play a vital role in the prevention of cholera. The di