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Life-saving Medicines on the way to Haiti for Hurricane Relief

  • September 15, 2008

Homes Flooded but People Are In Need of Clean Water

Residents of Haiti and many other Caribbean nations have weathered brutal storms this year. The latest, Hurricane Ike, touched down on an already fragile Haiti.

Geographically vulnerable to tropical storms, impoverished Haiti was still reeling from Hurricane Gustav when Ike wreaked havoc on the tiny island.  With the death toll rising, 2008 could become one of the deadliest hurricane seasons in recent years and survivors need help now.

That’s why AmeriCares is sending critically needed medicines and supplies. Three substantial shipments of medicines and medical supplies are now bound for Haiti. On their way are infection-killing antibiotics, medicines to stop rampant skin fungus brought about by the damp conditions, heart medicines to treat chronic conditions, first aid supplies, and supplements to fight malnutrition and anemia.

In Haiti, hurricane victims are also suffering from a dire lack of safe drinking water. “While there is flood water everywhere, it’s polluted with dangerous contaminants that make people sick and contribute to dehydration,” reports Jonathan Hodgdon, AmeriCares emergency response expert. Children are particularly sensitive and can become so dehydrated that their little bodies cannot even produce tears. Left untreated, this becomes life-threatening when organ failure sets in.

AmeriCares has identified and prioritized the need for medicines to treat infections and diseases spread by the contaminated water, as well as treatments for related dehydration. One of the most vital solutions to manage symptoms of these diseases comes in the form of packets of oral re-hydration salts (ORS) which can be dissolved in a liter of safe drinking water.

Even when safe drinking water is shipped in, without ORS essential fluids cannot easily be absorbed by someone suffering from dehydration. “Re-hydration support helps the body act like a sponge and soak up fluids,” says Hodgdon.

AmeriCares is preparing for the delivery and distribution of these life-saving supplies.

Help AmeriCares save lives and Restore Health in Haiti and around the world »