Online Program

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Haiti: Past, Present and Future

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 11:30 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Richard Gelting, PhD., MS, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
Haiti has the lowest rates of access to improved water and sanitation infrastructure in the western hemisphere. This situation was likely exacerbated by the earthquake in 2010 and also contributed to the rapid spread of the cholera epidemic that started later that same year. This presentation will examine the history of the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector in Haiti, considering some factors that have influenced WASH conditions in the country. We then discuss the situation since the earthquake and subsequent cholera epidemic, and the responses to those events. Finally, drawing on Haiti's “National Plan of Action for the Elimination of Cholera in Haiti 2013-2022”, we suggest some actions that could help bring about long-term WASH improvements for the future. Because the current WASH situation has evolved over decades of limited attention and resources, it will take a long term, sustained effort to improve the situation.

Learning Areas:

Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe factors contributing to the current WASH situation in Haiti. Identify potential actions that could lead to future improvements.

Keyword(s): Water, Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Richard Gelting is an environmental engineer at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he works on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) issues. He has done research and provided technical assistance on issues related to the sustainability and health impact of WASH interventions, and has been closely involved Water Safety Plans in Latin America and the Caribbean. Dr. Gelting has also been involved in environmental investigations related to waterborne disease outbreaks worldwide.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.