01:05am Friday 18 August 2017

World Vision responds to Haiti's cholera outbreak, sending urgently-needed medical supplies to hospitals and clinics in region

PORT-AU-PRINCEWorld Vision is responding to Haiti’s cholera outbreak, sending urgently-needed medical supplies to respond to the sick and support already overstretched hospitals and clinics. Hundreds of liters of rehydration fluids, water treatments, medicines and hospital supplies were transported to the Central Plateau on Thursday. Hospitals are overwhelmed by sick patients; many others wait for care outside. World Vision has long-term programs in the region, but, to date, the aid agency has no reported casualties in its programs.

The Haiti Epidemic Advisory System now says there are reports of additional cholera cases 25 kilometers outside of Port-au-Prince.

“This is extremely worrying. Early reports indicate that many of the casualties showed few symptoms and, in some cases, died within 24 to 48 hours,” said Dr. Estrella Serrano, World Vision’s emergency response health and nutrition manager. “If the epidemic makes its way to Port-au-Prince, where children and families are living in unsanitary, overcrowded camps, the results could be disastrous.”

World Vision is sending its water, sanitation and health teams to the region to do full assessments and is also coordinating its response with UNICEF, the Government of Haiti and other international aid agencies. The aid agency’s emergency response team is taking immediate steps to prevent an outbreak in its Port-au-Prince camps by distributing soap, increasing hygiene promotion, and providing extra chlorination in the water. In addition, the aid agency is pre-positioning medicine, masks, gloves, stretchers and pick-up trucks to transport patients to nearby hospitals in the event that an outbreak occurs in one of its camps.

“With an outbreak like this, we must react immediately; hygiene promotion and soap are two of the most crucial prevention measures you can implement quickly and effectively to prevent more deaths,” said Theo Huitema, the manager of World Vision’s water, sanitation and hygiene program in Haiti.

Media Contact:
Laura Blank, lblank@worldvision.org, or call +1.708.872.5265

About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit, www.worldvision.org/press

Contacts:
Laura Blank
1.708.872.5265


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