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Stopping the Spread of Cholera in Zimbabwe

  • April 24, 2009

Zimbabwe is slowly recovering from Africa’s worst cholera outbreak in 15 years. People are still reeling from civil unrest and the collapse of the country’s health care system. More than 90,000 people have been infected and over 4,000 have died since the outbreak began last August.

With few medical resources and dismal sanitation, there is almost no protection against cholera, which is spread by unsanitary water. In settings like Zimbabwe’s Cholera Treatment Centers, hand sanitizer is vital for health care workers and their patients to reduce the risk of infection.

That’s why AmeriCares is sending a 40′ sea container filled with Purell® hand sanitizer donated by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Company. This generous donation of more than 6,000 cases of Purell is expected to help reduce infection.

Dr. Frank Bia_thumb

Read more about Preventing Cholera in the Developing World with AmeriCares Medical Director, Frank Bia, M.D.

To ensure families have access to clean water for drinking, AmeriCares and Procter & Gamble recently delivered more than 1 million packets of  PŪR™ Purifier of Water to Zimbabwe. PŪR is a powder that when mixed with even the filthiest water, removes pollutants, viruses and bacteria – including bacteria that cause cholera. The PŪR, along with Purell, is expected to stem the spread of the disease.

AmeriCares also delivered IV fluids and solutions that help patients recover from serious dehydration. Baxter and BD donated IV solutions and supplies needed to administer IV drips from their local facilities in India. Abbott generously donated Pedialyte® to rehydrate the youngest victims of the epidemic. Children are at high risk for cholera, and, sadly, it is often most deadly for them. Children infected with cholera can become so dehydrated that their little bodies cannot even produce tears.

AmeriCares also delivered antibiotics and medicines used to treat cholera symptoms such as diarrhea, cramping and severe pain. Many of these critical relief supplies were donated by our generous corporate partners. See below for a list of donors that have contributed to our relief efforts in Zimbabwe. Visit our Partner in Profile archives to learn more about gifts in kind.

Help AmeriCares save lives in Zimbabwe and around the world. »  

AmeriCares has a long and abiding relationship with many corporate partners. It is part of the AmeriCares model to cultivate and develop partnerships that help us to be able to respond quickly to international and domestic crises. The following partners have generously supported our efforts to help stop the cholera epidemic, relieve suffering of patients and replenish Zimbabwe’s depleted health care supplies:

Baxter International
Cardinal Health
Fougera, a division of Nycomed US Inc.
McNeil Consumer Healthcare
Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Company
Procter & Gamble
Ethicon, Inc.
Purdue Pharma
Sciele Pharma
Burt’s Bees