Lebanon has begun vaccinations against cholera after the first outbreak in almost 30 years. So far, health workers have vaccinated over 15,000 people.
But thousands more have fallen sick, many of them Syrian refugees. Pierre Houssney with Horizons International says, “It’s a threat to everyone who lives in Lebanon; anybody who eats vegetables is potentially exposed to cholera. Because a lot of the agricultural community is mostly run by Syrian refugees. As we have cholera spilling over the border from Syria into the Bekaa Valley, there’s a lot of uncertainty.”
Refugee living conditions
The Syrian refugees in Lebanon don’t have good waste disposal systems, and flooding can bring wastewater into the tents. Refugees must build their homes out of whatever stray materials they can find. Houssney says, “They’re made out of billboard plastic that’s been pulled down from somewhere, or vinyl tarps and things like that. It’s a patchwork. They’re not waterproof. They have kitchen fires all the time because they’re trying to cook in such structures.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller
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