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AmeriCares Honors World Tuberculosis Day
Tuberculosis kills over 2 million people every year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and Haiti has not been spared. Before January’s devastating earthquake, tuberculosis had been among the leading causes of death among adults in Haiti. In the aftermath of the disaster, the situation is expected to get much worse.
In response, AmeriCares recently delivered essential supplies to a tuberculosis clinic run by a dedicated local nurse named Pierre-Louise Monfort. The only nurse out of fifty at a collapsed tuberculosis hospital to survive the earthquake, Mr. Monfort cares for desperately sick in-patients at what remains of the hospital and distributes medicines to hundreds of other people infected with the deadly disease.
AmeriCares aid delivery included nutritional drinks to support therapeutic feeding of the most seriously ill patients. Patients with dangerous strains of multi-drug resistant (MDR) tuberculosis take strong medications that can cause severe nausea and vomiting. It is nearly impossible to take the necessary medications without proper nutritional support.
“Upon entering the patients’ room, we were greeted by the most enthusiastic group of people we have come across during our time in Haiti,” reported Rachel Granger, who heads up AmeriCares relief team in Haiti.
“As we walked in with our small shipment of supplies, we heard ‘Merci! Thank you! Merci!’ over and over again. Hard to believe they could be so upbeat given the desperate situation they were in. The room was clean and the patients looked well cared for and shared an obvious camaraderie.”
AmeriCares is planning future deliveries of aid to continue to assist people suffering from tuberculosis throughout earthquake-affected Haiti.