Cholera Response: Treatment and Prevention Amid Crisis
Project Medishare is on the front lines responding to the deadly cholera outbreak that has infected nearly half a million people in just one year in Haiti. According to the World Health Organization, more than 6,600 have died, over 200,000 have been hospitalized and more 467,000 have been infected — and that’s just between the months of October 2010 and October 2011.
Cholera infections spike during Haiti’s rainy season when human waste is washed into rivers used for drinking and bathing. This causes thousands of deaths due to the population not having access to lifesaving care. At the Cholera Treatment Center that Project Medishare setup in Mirebalais using the tents from the field hospital, as many as 200 patients were treated daily and over 10,000 patients were seen in just a few months. As a long-term goal and sustainable solution to sickness caused by dirty water, Project Medishare seeks funding to build public wells and latrines as a way to prevent contamination of drinking water and further spread of infection.
In the meantime, other treatment and prevention/education efforts by Project Medishare include:
- Education and outreach at the community level on hygiene and safe water, including radio announcements and live programs reaching thousands of people;
- Distribution of soap, Aquatabs, liquid bleach and a specially designed bucket to assure safe water for families living in Project Medishare catchment areas;
- Disinfection of suspected houses;
- Opening of Oral Rehydration Centers in remote areas to be first responders while patients are transported to Cholera Treatment Centers;
- Opening a Cholera Treatment Center in Lahoye to respond to urgent need for treatment due to skyrocketing number of cases because of rainy season; and
- Mobilization of community leaders, including organization of conference on Flag Day with community leaders in Marmont and LaHoye.
How You Can Help
Save a Life for just $5
Cholera can be deadly, but it is easily treatable if those infected have access to timely medical care. In fact, a $5 donation pays for a bag of IV saline that can save a cholera patient’s life in a matter of hours. A $5,000 donation builds a well to give clean water – and protection from water-born diseases — to an entire village.
- United Way of Miami-Dade
- Haitian Ministry of Health (MSPP)
- World Food Program
- Project Medishare Support Group