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Rainy Season Poses New Threat to Cholera-Stricken Nation
These kits and the prevention and treatment training allow Community Health Volunteers to ensure that people who live far from the Cholera Treatment Center can make it to the center in time to save their lives.”—Tiffany Kuehner, President of Hope for HaitiAmid growing concern that the rainy season is bringing a surge in cholera infections, AmeriCares Haiti team delivered three shipments of supplies for 500 “Cholera Hygiene Kits” to help 2,500 people as part of a key prevention and treatment initiative. The water-borne disease still poses a significant threat to the people of Haiti. More than 302,000 cases and 5,000 deaths have been reported since October 2010 – with a total of 400,000 cases projected by the World Health Organization. Haiti’s new President, Michel Martelly stated that preventing another outbreak is a top priority.Cholera-related deaths have tapered since the major outbreak, but a recent spike in rural cases led to our proactive shipment to Hope for Haiti in support of a partner clinic in Baradères — an area with 700+ cholera cases since December. AmeriCares Haiti also sent kits to two other groups, delivering a total of 500 kits to help 2,500 people.Cholera ImpactCholera is a water-borne bacterial disease which infects the small intestine, causing diarrhea, dehydration, and in severe cases, death. Poverty magnifies the disease’s impact exponentially, and safe water, sanitation, and education are especially crucial. As of May 10, 2011, Ministry of Health (MSPP) reports 302,401 cases including 5,234 deaths since the beginning of the cholera outbreak in mid-October, 2010.
Photo by Nadia Todres. All Rights Reserved.The kits, which include droppers, bleach, soap, aquatabs, water bottles and oral rehydration salts, were given to Community Health Volunteers who participated in a prevention and treatment training course. Upon returning to their communities, volunteers shared this valuable education with local families by conducting their own training sessions before distributing the kits, which help safeguard against severe infection.“Many cholera patients arrive at the treatment center already too dehydrated and sick for treatment to be effective. These kits and the prevention and treatment training allow Community Health Volunteers to ensure that people who live far from the Cholera Treatment Center can make it to the center in time to save their lives,” said Tiffany Kuehner, president of Hope for Haiti.Immediate ResponseSince October, 2010, AmeriCares has sent $4.9 million in aid to Haiti to battle cholera. These shipments have included IV solutions and sets, antibiotics, oral rehydration salts in addition to the cholera hygiene kits. Our in-country presence enabled us to rush prepositioned medicines and supplies from our warehouse directly to partners in impact areas at the immediate onset of the cholera outbreak. Since then, AmeriCares has worked with 47 partners, including the Ministry of Health to deliver crucial aid which helped drive mortality rates from nearly 7 percent at the onset to 1.7 percent at present.AmeriCares has delivered over $49 million in aid to Haiti to help survivors of the devastating January 2010 earthquake. Our work in Haiti began in 1984, delivering medicines and supplies to health care providers throughout the country. Those deep roots have enabled our Haiti team to navigate the challenging environment and overcome distribution issues in order to increase access to medicines for the Haitian people in both rural and urban areas.Donate Now