| Jun 2, 2017
Hurricane Response: Cholera Programme Final Report
Boy drinking from hand pump
Last month saw the end of the Cholera Prevention Programme which you've been helping to fund. It was an intensive 6 month project put in place following the devastation of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti last Autumn. With the risk of a large scale outbreak of cholera a real concern we felt we could best use our experience and resources to try and tackle this threat.
We worked with partners based in the southwest peninsula, St Boniface Haiti Foundation, to staff and equip a permanent treatment centre in the worst hit area. We also funded a team of community health workers who have been working on various fronts to protect people from the disease and prevent a large outbreak.
The headline of this project is a positive one. Thankfully we have not seen the outbreak that we feared. In fact we have only had to treat under 50 serious cases. This is incredibly good news for the people of Haiti and we put a significant part of that success down to the amount of prevention work that has been done in the last 6 months. It is also proof that continual education within the community about effective hygiene is a vital tool in preventing deadly outbreaks. This is something we promote every day in the commmunities around our hospital as do St Boniface in the south.
Some of the figures from the project are: 25,000 people we're vaccinated against cholera, 5000 living in high risk areas received water purification tablets and hundreds who showed signs of cholera infection we're identified and treated in the community.
The latter stages of the project focussed on identifying key community water sources which had become contaminated by cholera. From the tests that were done around half were unfit to drink from. So to rectify this, the team has been installing filtration systems at key sites, including a school responsible for a vital feeding programme.
Follow up tests showed the filtration is 100% successful meaning communities regained access to safe drinking water for the first time in months.
The legacy of this programme will continue beyond the 6 months alone. There are cholera treatment centres stocked and ready should another outbreak occur. Health education levels are higher than ever before, and permanent water filtration systems have been installed across the region. Haiti is now better prepared to tackle cholera in the future. Thank you for supporting this important programme.
We can't however think that our work in Haiti is done following Hurricane Matthew. The truth is nowhere near enough aid was given to the victims. Communities still lie in ruins, families are homeless and schools and infrastructure remain unusable. So please look for other projects which are helping those still affected and support them if you can.