Since August, Plan has started the mid-term hygiene promotion and prevention phase, complemented with the nutrition at school level component. All ORPs (Oral Rehydration Points) and UTCs (Units for Treatment of Cholera) have been handed over to the Haitian Ministry of Health, while our focus is shifting towards community lead total sanitation (CLTS) and nutrition.
In the case of CLTS, between August 2011 and December 2012 Plan will work in 78 schools in the 3 areas of work (North East, West and South East departments), developing a hygiene promotion training package, facilitating the access to water and sanitation facilities (water points, latrines and hand washing stations) and the management of solid waste. For this component, Plan is working very closely with DINEPA (governmental office for water and sanitation). The main funding for this process will be provided by UNICEF and Irish Aid.
As for nutrition at the school level, this component also started in August 2011 and will last until December 2012. This component aims to improve the nutritional status of at least 10.000 children at 30 schools by a food-based approach (implementation of school gardens and school feeding programs) and will reach an additional of 35.000 children from 70 schools by a supplementary feeding approach (provision of Vitamin A, Iodine and Iron and de-worming). The children and their mothers will also be trained in good nutritional and hygiene practices, in order to strengthen an adequate behavior toward food manipulation and preparation at home. The main funding for this component is also provided by UNICEF and the Canadian National Office.
May 16, 2011
What is the future outlook?
The direct correlation between heavy rains and rising cholera cases is evident in many departments; and the rainy season in Haiti is fast approaching. Therefore Plan is keeping up our hygiene awareness campaigns and water and sanitation activities to prevent future outbreaks. The consensus among experts is that cholera will never completely recede from Haiti. But all-around decreased funding for cholera is causing concern that the NGOs may not be able to adequately fill the gaps—that the local health authorities cannot cover, especially in hard-to-reach communities—which are almost certain to come during the rainy season.
Future work planned :
1st Level treatment: Oral Rehydration Point (ORP)
2nd Level treatment (more advanced): Cholera Treatment Unit (CTU)
Current Situation:The Ministry of Health reports that, as of February 14, 2011, there were 234,303 cases and 4,533 deaths due to cholera. The current national incidence rate is 1.6 %. Epidemiological reports continue to show a decline in new cases. This trend is supported by the Ministry of Health data, as well as by reports from other major health actors. In some places, there are reports of a rise in the mortality rate. This is being followed closely to see if it is poor reporting of data, or if there are improvements to be made in the management of cholera cases in particular places.
With Carnival season underway, there are some increased risks of cholera transmission. The risk is not from human-to-human contact, but rather from ingestion of contaminated food or water. Where people assemble for Carnival celebrations, there will be food stalls and drink vendors. The population will also need access to latrines and hand washing facilities. A good quality control of these facilities will minimize the chances of transmission.
Outlook: While the cholera epidemic has slowed, there is awareness among Plan staff and cholera experts that it could resume its strength again after the rainy season starts. Therefore it is important to keep up the hygiene awareness campaigns and water and sanitation activities to prevent future outbreaks. It's impossible to predict exactly how cholera will progress, but the consensus among experts is that cholera will never completely recede from Haiti.
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