Haiti: Cholera Prevention Efforts Intensifying
Save the Children is intensifying its efforts to prevent
additional cholera infections and treat cases in
November 17, 2010 — The government of Haiti has confirmed more than 16,700 cholera cases in seven of the country’s 10 regional departments and the UN is predicting up to 200,000 cases of cholera, which would require an increase in services and the ability of all organisations to respond.
“Cholera is preventable and treatable. Ensuring a swift and effective response to decrease transmission of the disease and lower the rate of deaths is the highest priority,” said Gary Shaye, Save the Children’s country director in Haiti.
“Save the Children and other humanitarian organisations have mobilized since the beginning of this outbreak to support the government of Haiti’s preparations for the worst-case scenario of a nationwide epidemic. We have built cholera treatment units as well as proper water and sanitation facilities, and we are working on critical prevention programs to assist children and families during this additional and unwelcome disaster. ”
Save the Children has set up cholera treatment units in the capital, Port-au-Prince, and has provided IV fluids, oral-rehydration salts and antibiotics to its health teams in other programme areas.
Ten thousand hygiene kits and more than 19,000 bars of soap have been distributed as well as supplies including water-purification tablets and kitchen kits in Léogâne and Port-au-Prince.
Save the Children is working with parents’ committees, child-protection committees, teachers and children to help spread key messages on hygiene and prevention.
In addition, Save the Children is working to ensure that families have access to clean water by distributing chlorinated water to schools, trucking water to camps and distributing chemicals for water treatment.
Save the Children is continuing its regular health programmes at clinics established for children and families affected by the earthquake in January and it has increased services to 24 hours a day in camps in Port-au-Prince.