HAITI Cholera One year after

 Emergency Response
 24th Oct 2011

CARE has continued to respond to the cholera outbreak, merging its cholera response into water, sanitation and hygiene promotion initiatives.

PORT-AU-PRINCE (October 24, 2011) – Since the cholera outbreak began in October 2010, CARE has been implementing its response program in some of the country’s most-affected regions; namely Grande-Anse, Upper Artibonite and Northwest departments. Despite a decrease in new cases during the country’s dry season, there has been significant resurgence of the epidemic during the April-May rainy season and June-November hurricane season, both increasing the threat that heavy rainfall and flooding facilitate the spread of contaminated water.

According to the Haitian Ministry of Health, the number of cases and their severity are decreasing. This is proof of the extent by which the response efforts have effectively worked to contain and treat cholera in Haiti. As of 25th September 2011 457,582 cumulative cholera cases 6,477 dead were registered.

CARE has supplied health centers and cholera treatment facilities with medication and equipment to manage cases of cholera and provided water and sanitation support; established Oral Rehydration Posts (ORPs) and distributed cholera prevention items such as soap, water purification tablets, jerry cans/buckets, and oral rehydration solution (ORS). CARE also utilized an extensive network of community volunteers who promoted proper hygiene behaviors and disseminated information about cholera prevention throughout the areas of intervention.

To date, CARE has reached more than 1,798,502 people with hygiene promotion through a network of volunteers and public events. CARE has built 1,385 community and/or family latrines; and constructed and/or rehabilitated 211 communal water points.

CARE’s cholera interventions also extended to the metropolitan Port-au-Prince area, including IDP camps. Fearing a large-scale public health crisis if a major cholera outbreak were to hit the densely populated capital city and congested IDP camps, CARE and other humanitarian actors sought to improve access to safe water by chlorinating water delivery trucks supplying water to the Port-au-Prince area.

“As cholera will become endemic, in the next phase, cholera or any other water born disease interventions will become part of water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives that CARE will be implementing” says Tamara Shukakidze, Deputy Director of Disaster Response Program. “We are working closely with the Haitian Ministry of Health to find solution on how to make our interventions sustainable, says Shukakidze.“

CARE Haiti plans to continue its cholera response activities in Grande-Anse- one of the most underserved department of Haiti. CARE is the main WASH actor providing water and sanitation support to cholera treatment facilities in this region after several humanitarian agencies phased out their interventions due to lack of funding. CARE focuses its efforts on the most vulnerable regions in the North (Haut Artibonite and Northwest), the West (Léogâne and Carrefour) and the South-East (Grande Anse) of Haiti.

For more information or to arrange interviews with staff in Haiti:

Mildrède Béliard (in Port-au-Prince): +509 3804 0211, mbeliard@pap.care.org
Melanie Brooks (in Geneva): +41 79 590 30 47, brooks@careinternational.org
Brian Feagans (in Atlanta): +1 404-979-9453, bfeagans@care.org

About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve education, health and economic opportunity.

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