From 1981 through most of 1995 I was an official in the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), which is also the Regional Office for the Americas for the World Health Organization. One of my major responsibilities was assisting Latin American and Caribbean countries in the prevention and mitigation of waterborne and water related diseases, which inherently included working closely with both health and water agencies to achieve improvements in availability and quality of drinking water, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas. This experience provided a unique perspective on the prevention and control of waterborne diseases before, during and after the introduction of cholera in Peru in 1991.
Before 1991, cholera—an acute and deadly diarrheal disease—had not been prevalent in the Americas since the early 1900’s. Between 1991 and 1993, the disease raged throughout Latin American sparing only Uruguay and the Caribbean. The outbreak claimed almost 9,000 lives and sickened nearly one … READ MORE >>READ MORE >>