A cholera outbreak has struck Central Haiti, causing more than 130 deaths and sickening at least 1,500 others. International Medical Corps teams here in Haiti have already responded with medical supplies to the cholera-affected areas, and are pre-positioning supplies in other areas in the event the outbreak spreads. As the only member of the UN emergency response team, International Medical Corps is ready to deploy a full Emergency Response team with doctors and nurses to the area within 24 hours, if needed.
“International Medical Corps is extremely concerned at the speed in which this outbreak spread,” says Dr. Jojo Cangao, International Medical Corps' medical director in Haiti. “We have already begun community outreach and prepositioning of supplies in the camps in which we work in Port-au-Prince in case the outbreak moves south.” More than one million people have been living in displacement camps since the January 12 earthquake, which killed more than 300,000.
There are already reports of the outbreak moving south, closer to Port-au-Prince, and International Medical Corps is pre-positioning supplies for orphanages in this area. Supplies, such as IV saline solution, water purification tablets, and oral rehydration salts, are being collected to dispatch to Artibonite if needed and to preposition in camps where International Medical Corps runs clinics. International Medical Corps is also coordinating with partners in camps where it has clinics to begin community education campaigns on cholera prevention, identification, and treatment - and clinic staff are being trained in cholera treatment and management.
“We are prepared to support the emergency response to the cholera outbreak however is most needed, whether through medical personnel, supplies, or both,” says Dr. Cangao.
International Medical Corps has extensive experience in cholera outbreak response, management, and prevention, with its most recent responses in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Iraq. Clean water, sanitation, and hygiene are also one of its top organizational priorities, with such programs in countries including Haiti, Somalia, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Thank you so much for your continuing support -- we are able to respond to emergencies like this because of your wonderful generosity.
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