As the cholera outbreak in Haiti worsens, Catholic Relief Services is responding with aggressive measures to help prevent the spread of the disease and treat the sick. The cholera outbreak has infected more than 15,000 Haitians and killed more than 900.
CRS is providing Haitians with soap, water purification tablets and related guidance to prevent the outbreak from continuing to spread. In Port-au-Prince, more than 10,000 families have received soap from CRS. CRS is also increasing water and sanitation activities in several camps, including latrine and water station repairs and extra disinfection, extra water treatment, and additional solid waste removal.
CRS’ health team, with colleagues from the University of Maryland, has also been working to help 7 CRS supported hospitals around the country and four health centers managed by our partner Caritas, to respond to an influx of cholera patients. CRS is also focusing on people living with HIV, who are at increased risk of cholera. Hygiene kits are being assembled for 7,000 people living with HIV supported through CRS’ AIDSRelief program to help them prevent infection.
The disease has reached Port-au-Prince, where more than one million displaced people still live. Poor sanitation and hygiene in the settlements make people particularly vulnerable to the disease, which causes diarrhea and vomiting so severe that it can kill a person within hours if rehydration measures are not taken.
Each of Haiti’s 10 regions, and neighboring Dominican Republic, have reported suspected cases of cholera.
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