Every 10 to 15 minutes, new patients arrive at hospitals around Haiti, exhausted because of the upsurge in cholera cases in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.
In Port-à-Piment, there were some 60 people suffering from the waterborne disease by Sunday afternoon (October 9) and four people had died.
“We have had water here for a while. We need water to be able to try and bring down the number of cholera cases.”
“We need oral serums (for diarrhoea), aquatabs (water treatment tablets) to be able to save these people’s lives. They are desperate,” said Pierre Louis, a hospital worker.
At least 1,000 people have died since the hurricane first crashed into the island less than a week ago (October 4). Thousands more have had their homes and livelihoods ripped out from beneath them.
Fisherman Eval Morris lives in Port Salut, in the south west of the country.
“I am a fisherman. This neighbourhood is only of fishermen and merchants. We lost everything, we have nothing. The houses weren’t built well so that’s why they came down. We have nothing, we have nowhere to go,” he said.
Rural communities in particular are lacking clean water, food and shelter, prompting a public health crisis which is set to get worse before it improves, health officials fear.
An estimated 10,000 people are in shelters and, although United Nations aid has begun to arrive, debris and floods are making communities difficult to reach.