It doesn’t have to be expensive to save lives. All it takes sometimes are water, sugar and salts.

Hima Akhter pulls the blanket over the eyes so that only her long black hair to see. She whimpers. A nurse stands back with a needle in their hand and places an Infusion. After that, it only takes a couple of hours until the live in Akhter returns.

As the 19-Year-old in the hospital arrived in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka, had to support her mother; her cheeks and eyes had sunken in, her lips were burst. The day before she had eaten something at a roadside. In the evening, the spasms began, she vomited and got diarrhea. Then she lost consciousness.

Hima Akhter with her mother and grandmother. The Doctors fear that the 19-Year-old infected with Cholera displayed

It is now in the hospital, wearing a complicated name, but the one in Dhaka, everyone knows: the ICDDR,B. More than 200,000 patients are treated here every year. Most of them are suffering from ordinary diseases, as in South Asia, often occur. And then there are patients such as Akhter: with Cholera. They make up about a fifth of all cases.

Cholera is one of the last Scourges of humanity. She served, among others, Thomas Mann and Heinrich Heine as an Inspiration for great literature and the trigger was devastating pandemics. Cholera is a disease that is easily kurierbar, with electrolytes and fluid, but without treatment and in the worst case, within a few hours fatal. Vibrio cholerae is a nest in the small intestine of its victim, where the pathogen excretes a poison that causes a massive diarrhea. Due to the water loss from the body at risk of dehydration.

Still a health organization WHO plug according to the world every year, between 1.3 and 4 million people with the infection disease. Up to 140,000 of them die from it. The good news: The time of Cholera could soon come to an end. The sad: It could have been done much earlier so far. But bureaucracy and indifference have prevented it.

A Chronology:

Still, tens of thousands of people with Cholera die each year, outbreaks; not in the West, but in South America, Rwanda, or Iraq. “We had to turn of the Millennium, two safe and effective vaccines. But we were not of it for the treatment of the poor,” said the doctor, and John Clemens today. Would have threatened the Cholera-American children, he believes, it would be faster gone.

Together with Sweden’s Jan Holmgren, Clemens is considered one of the pioneers of the Cholera vaccination, “a 30-year Saga”, he says.

Clemens is head of the ICDDR,B set a rule: No Patient will be rejected. Hundreds of patients are in large halls that separated the long rows only by waist-high walls from each other. During the heat before the monsoon to come per day up to 2000 people, to provide free treatment. In front of the entrance are then clamped tents. Carpenters and tailors behind the building, rooms with new beds. Simple box, wooden beds, the sheets made of plastic. A hole In the middle, including a bucket, which is emptied every eight hours. A cleaning woman mopping the floor. It smells of disinfectants.

The ICDDR,B in Dhaka treated annually 200,000 patients

The ICDDR,B’s can’t afford luxury. Good therapy, the Doctors here must be not only safe and effective but also affordable for the you need. You are quite successful: The death rate is under one percent. In addition, the disease experts will help after disasters all over the world: in Yemen, in Ethiopia and in Nepal. Your Job is to become in the last few years a little easier. Indeed, today there is a cheap vaccine.

For a breakthrough of the two things at the end: a lot of money and a terrible disaster. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded in 1999, a clinical study with a modified version of the Vietnamese vaccine. An Indian pharmaceutical company manufactured the drug for a fraction of the cost of the original vaccine.

Then the earth shook in Haiti. At the beginning of 2010, an earthquake devastated the island nation. A further disaster followed a few months later: Nepalese UN soldiers introduced the Cholera pathogen is introduced. Between 600,000 and 700,000 people infected with the disease.

Thanks to the large-scale vaccination campaign in a Cholera outbreak in the refugee camps of Bangladesh, so far, remained

All of a sudden the interest in a vaccine was large. Suddenly everything went very quickly. Today, the WHO stores millions of doses of the vaccine in stock. He arrived in South Sudan and in Iraq and also the former birthplace of the Cholera.

The Exodus of the Rohingya has been the greatest Test. To 740,000 people fled around two years ago, before the atrocities committed by the Myanmar army to Bangladesh. At the beginning there where no huts, no drinking water and no toilets. With the support of aid organisations and the ICDDR,B, the United Nations instilled in refugees almost a Million. Until today, there were in the Camps, no major outbreak of Cholera call – even though all of this.

The WHO has set itself the goal to defeat the Cholera epidemic by 2030. Above all, better Hygiene is needed, but also the immunization of the population in the regions in which the Cholera pathogen is native. Physicians Clemens, meanwhile, learned one thing, he says, That he may be a good researcher but not necessarily a good Lobbyist.