03 December 2010

Haiti: Cholera outbreak

More than 25,000 people have been hospitalised and 1,415 people have died due to cholera in Haiti. The United Nations suggests 400,000 people could become affected, a doubling of their original estimate.

World Vision response

World Vision continues its response to the epidemic, focusing on preventative and curative measures in its existing Area Development Programs (ADPs) and earthquake response operations.  Throughout north and central Haiti, World Vision has:

Preventative  
  • provided prevention training and support to health clinics
  • distributed hygiene kits, water treatment supplies, and soap to relief camp populations
  • conducted preventative work and hygiene promotion sessions in schools and relief camps
  • established disinfection truck stations for vehicles carrying human waste (essential to prevent the spread of cholera)
  • established hand washing stations
  • conducted testing of drinking water supplies
  • trained community leaders and health agents - hygiene and preventative measures
Curative
  • provided medical supplies, medicines, Oral Rehydration Salts to hospitals
  • established Cholera Treatment Units

World Vision is co-ordinating with the Government of Haiti, the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies in response to the cholera outbreak.

World Vision provides water services in 56 camps for 120,000 residents. Some 1.5 million litres of treated water is trucked to camps daily.  This is part of normal programming, not set up specifically for the cholera outbreak.

Situation Update

Seven out of 10 ‘departments’ have been directly affected by cholera: Artibonite, Central, Ouest, Nord Ouest, Sud, Nord, and Nord Est.

The United Nations suggests 400,000 people could become affected, a doubling of their original estimate.

There has been periodic rioting in Cap Haitien, Hinche and Port-au-Prince as well as more peaceful demonstrations in Truitier.

Advocacy Calls

World Vision calls on:
  • all actors implementing cholera response activities to prioritise the needs of vulnerable children. More than 40,000 children in over 600 residential centres, which include orphanages and nurseries, and more than 500,000 children in camp settlements and other slums of Port-au-Prince are especially vulnerable. All efforts should be made to support national prevention efforts to stop the spread of the disease and prevent separation of children from their families during this crisis.
  • the donor community to fully fund the UN consolidated appeal for $163,894,856 required to meet the immediate needs of those affected by this crisis. So far only 10% of this amount has been met.
  • the donor community to fully fund the UN consolidated appeal for $163,894,856 required to meet the immediate needs of those affected by this crisis. So far only 10% of this amount has been met.
  • World Vision asks that the Government of Haiti establish and integrate a social protection plan within the National Response Strategy to address secondary separation of children whose caregivers have been infected or died as a result of cholera.

Background information

On Wednesday 20 October, an outbreak of severe diarrhoea hit the Artibonite/Central Plateau area, some100 kilometres north of the capital, Port au Prince.

Five people who contracted the illness in Artibonite subsequently travelled to Port au Prince where they developed symptoms.  The World Health Organization confirmed cholera in the capital and other areas of the country.  As these people contracted the illness in one area and travelled to the capital does not represent a spread of the epidemic.

The worst affected region was along the St Marc coastline.  Hospitals in the region were overwhelmed.  

The Government of Haiti asked all cases of severe diarrhoea in Port au Prince to be treated as cholera, to maximise precaution and prevention work.  President Preval established and is leading an emergency group including the Prime Minister, Minister of Health, Minister of Communications, and Departments of Interior, Agriculture, and Water & Sanitation.

Download the Haiti country profile.

Children sponsored by Australians

No reported cholera fatalities in World Vision Australia funded programs.  However, please be assured that if we receive information of concern regarding sponsored children we will contact sponsors immediately.

How you can help

Support for the Haiti Earthquake Appeal enables World Vision to continue its recovery work, including the current response to the cholera outbreak.

Donate to the Earthquake Appeal here.

Post a comment