In Sindhupalchowk, about 20 miles northeast of Nepal’s capital, the remnants of brick and cement houses, now mounds of rubble, dot the dirt road. Local springs were damaged in the quake, and fresh water has run out.
One week after the devastating earthquake that killed more than 6,000 people and flattened scores of villages, Nepal is bracing for a major cholera epidemic, writes journalist Amie Ferris-Rotman in an exclusive story for Global Health NOW.
Sindhupalchowk’s men alternate the daily 1-hour walk to buy small bottles of water. “But we are running out of money,” said Devraj Giri, 35, a construction worker who has been out of work for a week. “My three kids have diarrhea, and one of them has fever,” he said angrily. A fourth child, his three-year-old son, was killed in the earthquake.
The rainy season is expected to begin around the middle of next month increasing risks for an epidemic of cholera. “Cholera is a massive issue for us right now,” said Dr. Biplap Ghimire. The fact he has yet to encounter a case, he adds, “means nothing.”