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Prompt Treatment Saves Lives in Rural Haiti

  • June 21, 2012

An emergency shipment of $300,000 in IV fluids and cholera supplies came at a crucial time for AmeriCares partner, Real Hope for Haiti. During the rainy season, the number of seriously ill patients arriving at their cholera treatment center surged to 25-30 each day; more than one-third required IV fluids to treat acute dehydration. “These IV fluids and supplies were a huge help to our fight against cholera,” said Lorelle Moise, RN, and clinic director at Real Hope for Haiti. Prompt treatment matters for people stricken with cholera. The disease spreads rapidly and can kill quickly, especially when patients are already weakened by malnutrition. Fortunately, with proper and timely treatment, 99% of patients can survive the disease. At the Real Hope for Haiti treatment center, having the right medicines and supplies on hand made a lifesaving difference for dozens of  people, including Janite, Jickson, and Marcel:Seven-year-old Janite fell gravely ill, and was brought to the treatment center the very same day her teenage brothers were discharged. Janite’s mother Fleurine, walked four hours to bring her daughter to the center and remained by Janite’s bedside during her six-day stay. Janite recovered fully and looks forward to returning to school. “Thank you for your generous donations and services to help us face a disease that has killed so many of our brothers and sisters in Haiti,” Fleurine said. “Now I am hopeful that life will smile on us again.”

Photos courtesy of Real Hope for Haiti, All Rights Reserved.Marie (top) and Marcel (bottom)Marie, a 37-year-old working mom, acted quickly when she realized her 4-month-old son Jickson was sick with cholera. During the harrowing two-hour walk to the clinic, Marie feared that her baby might die. At the treatment center, Jickson received lifesaving IV fluids and oral rehydration salts that Marie could not afford to purchase with her meager income. As Marie’s precious baby showed signs of improvement, Marie regained confidence that she would not lose Jickson to cholera.Marcel, a 40-year-old farmer from rural Haiti contracted cholera because of unsanitary living and working conditions. He acknowledged that he did not adhere strictly to prevention practices, but once he recovered, Marcel vowed to avoid future infections by closely following safety precautions. He was grateful for the care he received at the small rural clinic.Controlling a KillerSince October, 2010, cholera has claimed more than 7,000 lives among the 500,000+ cases reported in Haiti thus far. The Pan American Health Organization estimates that an additional 200,000 people in Haiti will contract cholera in 2012.AmeriCares work with the Real Hope for Haiti clinic is part of our robust response to Haiti’s cholera epidemic, including more than 230,000 cholera treatments at 189 facilities all across the country. AmeriCares has delivered IV fluids, medicines, oral rehydration salts, hand sanitizer, soap, water purification tablets, disinfectant and other hygiene products to help prevent the spread of the disease. We have also supported various partners in community health campaigns focusing on cholera and other diarrheic disease prevention that reached 100,000 people.Read MoreDonate Now