Jun 15, 2011

Cholera Emergency Response

May 16, 2011

Current Situation:

  • A vulnerability analysis was carried out based on information provided by the Ministry of Publice Health (MSPP), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization (WHO), and health partners, while taking into account combined risk factors from Health and Water and Sanitation (WASH) sectors. In addition, aspects such as population density, camps, access to water and sanitation, attack rate, mortality, and socioeconomic status were taken into account to evaluate the risks. Based on this analysis, it is reasonable to expect the first outbreaks in the Departments of West (including Port-au-Prince), South and South East, whereas Jeremie, Cap Haitien, and Port de Paix have been identified as highly vulnerable localities as well. Financial gaps for response to potential outbreaks are observed with MSPP and certain NGOs whose cholera funds are expiring.
  • Several donors (ECHO, USAID) have indicated that new funds to respond to potential cholera outbreaks are available.
  • The number of new cholera cases nationwide continues to decrease. The number of new cases in Northeast, Center, Port-au-Prince, North, Northwest, Artibonite, West, Nippes and Grande Anse departments are stable or decreasing. However, cases in South and South-East are increasing, potentially confirming the abovementioned vulnerability analysis.

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)

North-east

  • Continue the distribution of hygiene kits at the schools
  • Continue with the distribution of family Hygiene kits.
  • Distribution of materials to the cholera treatment Units
  • Continuous support and supervision of ORPs and CTUs
  • Routine supervision and monitoring of ORPs and CTUs

South-east:

  • Continue the distribution of hygiene kits in schools
  • Continuous support and supervision to ORPs and CTUs
  • Assess the status of all ORPs

West:

  • Continue the distribution of hygiene kits at the schools
  • Continue with the distribution of family hygiene kits.
  • Distribution of materials to the CTUs
  • Continuous support and supervision of ORPs and CTUs
  • Routine supervision and monitoring of ORPs and CTUs

Links:

Mar 23, 2011

Haiti Cholera Outbreak Update - February 2011

Women Bringing Child to Health Clinic
Women Bringing Child to Health Clinic

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.

Plan's Response:

  • Plan is working to guarantee reliable supplies of drinking water by installing water towers and rehabilitating boreholes
  • In the South-East, 230 family kits have been distributed in Lafond
  • Supplying medicines, medical equipment and supplies
  • Over 120 youth were mobilized to go door to door educating families and communities on the modes of transmission of the disease and the behaviors in case of infection in Tomazeau, Croix-des-Bouquets and Ganthier.

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.

Distributing Family Kits in Jacmel
Distributing Family Kits in Jacmel
Boy with Cholera Prevention Kit
Boy with Cholera Prevention Kit

Links:

 
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