Global Health Update: the Zimbabwe and Haiti cholera epidemics

Dr. Glenn Morris, director of the Emerging Pathogens Institute, spoke today in the College of Medicine to a mostly medical student and university-researcher audience of the factors that have caused an upswing in cholera cases in Zimbabwe and Haiti, as well as the role faculty and postdocs have played in mapping the outbreak of the disease in those nations. Morris also addressed the ongoing need for grassroots-led responses to health and infectious disease management.

Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic, the worst in a decade to hit a Sub-Saharan African nation, parallels ongoing political problems and correlated health infrastructure failures in the country.

In Leogane, Haiti, University of Florida researchers have spent years establishing economic, health, and education initiatives to better the livelihoods of people living in the rural, western district. More recently,faculty distributed approximately 2,000 cholera oral rehydration (sugar/salt) medication and accompanying creole instructions to area residents, some of whom live near the epicenter of the January 2010 earthquake.

Today’s event was sponsored by the Hispanic American Medical Student Association, part of a semester-long seminar series on global health. The accompanying PowerPoint for the presentation is linked.Powerpoint.