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As a deadly cholera outbreak has reached Port-au-Prince, AmeriCares has strengthened cholera relief efforts in Haiti’s beleaguered capital. The team on the ground has been distributing critical aid, medicines and medical supplies.
In a country plagued by tragedy, more than 800 people have died and over 11,000 people have been hospitalized due to the outbreak. The latest victim is a three-year-old boy living in the most notorious slum in Port-au-Prince.
“Now that cholera cases are originating in Port-au-Prince, the outbreak could easily spread to earthquake survivor camps,” said Christoph Gorder, AmeriCares SVP of Global Programs. “With little natural immunity to cholera, the Haitian people are at high risk of serious illness and death.”
To treat people sickened with cholera, AmeriCares recently airlifted rehydration solutions, antibiotics and critical medical items. The emergency supplies are being used in cholera-affected areas throughout Haiti. An additional airlift and a sea shipment are bound for Haiti in the coming days.
To help stop the spread of the disease, AmeriCares is readying a water purification shipment. The delivery of 2 million sachets will purify 5.5 million gallons of water – to provide 20,000 families with safe drinking water for weeks. Not only are cholera and other deadly bacteria killed by the solution, but it also removes other impurities from water.
Health officials are on high alert and are working hard to stop the disease that spreads through water and food contaminated by human waste. AmeriCares is among the leading aid groups partnering with local officials to respond to the cholera crisis.
Within 24 hours of reported cholera, AmeriCares began delivering critical medical aid from our Port-au-Princce warehouse to healthcare providers on the front lines of the outbreak. AmeriCares has already delivered over $30 million in aid to Haiti to help survivors of the devastating January 2010 earthquake. AmeriCares has been working in Haiti since 1984, delivering medicines and supplies to health care providers throughout the country.